LAPD Accused of Fudging Crime Statistics

A Los Angeles Police Department Captain believes that some high-ranking officials are misleading the public about the safety of the city.

Capt. Lillian Carranza, who oversees the LAPD’s Van Nuys station, filed a claim last week stating that she has been informing her superiors about underreported crime in the greater Los Angeles area since 2014. Carranza specifically noted areas such as Pacoima, Sunland, and Tujunga.

The claim alleged that aggravated assaults last year were underreported by about 10% in the Pacific and Central divisions. This means that it is possible that numerous violent cases were misclassified as less serious offenses.

Carranza conducted her own analysis of the crime reports stored in an LAPD database, but the claim did not include the “raw data” the Captain used in her analysis, the LA Times reports.

The LAPD, according to Carranza, “engaged in a highly complex and elaborate cover-up in an attempt to hide the fact that command officers had been providing false crime figures to the public attempting to convince the public that crime was not significantly increasing.”

The LAPD did not comment on Carranza’s allegations, but LAPD spokesman Josh Rubenstein did stress the importance of correcting data and providing additional training to the department following the accusations.

“Integrity in all we say and do is a core value for the department and any accusation related to the accuracy of our reports will be taken very seriously and investigated as a potential disciplinary matter,” Rubenstein told the LA Times.

In September, Captain Carranza was told she was not going to get a promotion to commander from her supervisor due to “meddling into others’ business,” according to the claim.

These allegations follow a 2015 audit by the LAPD’s inspector general that estimated the department misclassified more than 25,000 aggravated assault cases as minor incidents from 2008 to 2014. This is corroborated by the 2014 Los Angeles Times investigation that found that the LAPD misclassified nearly 1,200 violent crimes from 2013 to 2014.

These incorrect figures "were due to a combination of systemic issues, procedural deficiencies, department-wide misconceptions about what constitutes an aggravated assault, and, in a small number of cases, individual officer error," according to the audit.

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