Officer Killed in Training Exercise Was Targeted for Investigating Alleged Rape Involving Colleagues, Lawyer Says

The attorney for LAPD Officer Houston Tipping, who died in May in what police claim was a training accident, believes his client was targeted for being a whistleblower.

As reported by CBS Los Angeles, Bradley Gage, the lawyer representing Tipping’s family in a wrongful death lawsuit filed against the city in June, claims Tipping’s death occurred while Houston was investigating an alleged gang rape committed by four LAPD officers in 2021. Gage said in a press conference on Monday that one of the accused officers was present at the training exercise the day Tipping died from his injuries.

“The victim claimed that she was raped by four different people, all LAPD officers. She knew the names of some of those officers because they were in uniform and they had their name tags on,” Gage said. “That name of one of those officers with the name tag seems to correlate with one of the officers that was at the bicycle training.”

According to Gage, the LAPD claims there was no incident report regarding the alleged rape.

“You have to understand why would they do that, where is the motivation?” Gage asked.

“When you have information that the motivation comes from an alleged sexual assault, it’s being investigated by Officer Tipping, now you understand why,” he continued. “You have a situation where officers are going to be interested in at least scarring Officer Tipping to prevent him from carrying out this investigation, where they could get prosecuted criminally, and or lose their jobs.”

Tipping, a five-year department veteran, died May 29, three days after the training accident at the agency’s Elysian Park academy. Back in May, the LAPD shed light on Tipping’s death, claiming that he “suffered a catastrophic spinal cord injury” during a training exercise.

“At the time of the accident Officer Tipping was a bike instructor engaged in a training scenario involving grappling with another officer,” the LAPD said in a statement. “During the scenario Officer Tipping fell to the floor and suffered a catastrophic spinal cord injury.”

However, Tipping’s mother alleges her son was “repeatedly struck in the head severely enough that he bled” during an activity that simulated a mob attack, and that he suffered multiple breaks in his neck, which caused his death.

Tipping’s family filed a lawsuit against the city of Los Angeles in June, alleging wrongful death and civil rights violations.