Kevin Rector has a story in today’s L.A. Times about LAPD Inspector General Mark Smith’s intention to review the police discipline process. Rector explains:
According to Inspector General Mark Smith, his office is developing plans to begin monitoring police Board of Rights proceedings to identify “inconsistencies” in board decisions, “inequities” in the process and other ways the system might be improved to ensure “just outcomes for all stakeholders.”
As I’m sure you can imagine, the Los Angeles Police Protective League is fighting Smith’s plan. Absolute secrecy of every possible aspect of the disciplinary process is one of the LAPPL’s main issues. And if the case of Nicholas Owens is a reasonable example, I can certainly see why they don’t want the process monitored when more serious offenses are involved. Also according to Rector, the monitoring plan is not all Smith is working on:
Smith said his office is already conducting a more limited audit of the outcome of disciplinary hearings since the City Council passed an ordinance last year allowing for all-civilian panels.
Voters amended the City Charter in 2017 to allow for these all-civilian panels if the accused officer chooses to have one and the change took effect last year. Most observers expected civilian panels to be much more forgiving of officers’ misdeeds, and I assume that that’s what Smith is already looking into.
And you can look into it too, if you’re interested. I recently obtained an unprecedented set of six spreadsheets filling with information about pending and complete boards of rights, administrative appeals, civil service hearings,1 and maybe other LAPD disciplinary processes.
The data includes outcomes of both all-civilian panels and traditional panels for comparison, and just an incredible amount of other information including names of officers and civilian staff with pending hearings, the names of their representatives and the board members, and so on.
A proper analysis of this material is far beyond my personal capabilities, but its importance is indisputable. I’m publishing it today to make it available to people who have the capacity to understand and use it. All the files can be found here on Archive.org, and there are individual links to the files below, both in the original Excel format and also as PDFs for ease of reading:
Continue reading Inspector General Mark Smith Is Reviewing LAPD’s Disciplinary Process According To Kevin Rector Of The L.A. Times — The LAPPL Is Fighting Smith’s Plan To Observe Boards Of Rights Hearings But Doesn’t Seem Mad About His Plan To Audit Hearing Outcomes — Smith Needs Data For That And He Has It — And You And I Need Data Too — So We Can Audit The Auditors! — And Here Is The Data! — Six Spreadsheets With Detailed And Unprecedented Information On Hearing Outcomes Since 2016 — In Some Cases Including Case Numbers — Summarized Allegations — Names Of Officers, Advocates, Hearing Board Members, And So On — And Proof That Accused Officers Have Overwhelmingly Chosen All-Civilian Review Boards Since 2019 When The Option Became Available — Since June 2019 When The Option Became Available