Three LAPD officers pleaded not guilty Tuesday to charges claiming they falsified subject interview records to misidentify people as gang members.
The charges were filed in October against Officers Rene Braga, 40; Raul Uribe, 35, and Julio Garcia, 36.
The officers, who all work for LAPD’s Metro Division, allegedly lied in police reports when they claimed people they detained admitted to being gang members during field interviews, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office said.
A review of their body-worn camera video revealed the officers either never asked the individuals about their gang membership or the individuals actually denied having a gang affiliation, prosecutors said.
The audit of the stored video followed after authorities investigated and charged three other LAPD officers in similar cases last year.
“We are committed to continuing our thorough investigation of these troubling actions and have already taken steps to ensure it never happens again,” LAPD Chief Michel Moore said in a statement in October.
“Reverence for the law and respect for people are the pillars of our core values. We will strive to live up to those principles by holding anyone accountable who violates them,” he said.
The department said 18 officers were the subjects of the department’s internal probe as of October.
Of those officers, 11 were assigned to home and seven had been assigned to non-field duties.
If convicted as charged, Braga faces up to three years and eight months in county jail, while Uribe and Garcia each face a possible 3-year jail term, prosecutors said.
The three officers are due back in court April 20.