LOS ANGELES (CNS) - The president of the Los Angeles Police Commission today requested a report from the LAPD on its policies related to the use of alcohol and firearms by off-duty officers, with a comparative analysis between the LAPD and other departments' policies.
The request follows the arrest of an intoxicated off-duty LAPD officer in Inglewood who allegedly used a gun to threaten to a neighbor. Following that incident, the Los Angeles Times reported that the LAPD, unlike other departments across the U.S., does not have a comprehensive policy for officers carrying firearms while drinking or when intoxicated.
The Times reviewed cases involving intoxicated officers over the past few years and spoke with the department, which confirmed that it “does not have a specific policy relating to the off-duty consumption of alcohol in conjunction with the carrying of a firearm,'' the paper reported. The department instead has other policies that require officers to conduct themselves appropriately.
Chief Michel Moore told commissioners Tuesday that the department's policy related to alcohol and firearms is “part of a much larger policy in regards to the use of alcohol or any intoxicant overall.''
He added, “the use of alcohol and a person possessing a firearm, a police officer off-duty, is a very serious matter and one we pay a great deal of attention to.''
Commission President Eileen Decker requested a report be prepared for herself and Commission Vice President William Briggs before a report on the matter is requested for the entire commission.
“I would like it to contain details on the factual incidents involving the excessive use of alcohol and the use of a weapon or firearm by officers. I'd like a comparative analysis of other cities' policies, where we can evaluate the language that is used, the specifics,'' Decker said.
“Really, what I'm getting at is I would like the department to report to us all the relevant facts and policies so we can determine appropriate course of action and what to bring back to the full commission. Obviously no one wants anyone using a firearm while impaired,'' she said.
Briggs requested the report contain details on the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department's policies involving officers using firearms while intoxicated. According to The Times, Los Angeles County and Orange County deputies are explicitly prohibited from carrying weapons while intoxicated.
“This commission has heard instances too frequently where the possession of a firearm and the decisions of an officer with that firearm while intoxicated has had terrible outcomes,'' Moore told commissioners Tuesday.
On May 7, an off-duty LAPD probationary officer, Nicolas Enmanuel Quintanilla-Borja, 29, was arrested in Inglewood and charged with one count each of false imprisonment by violence and assault with a semiautomatic firearm, along with two counts of making criminal threats. He also faces sentence-enhancing allegations that he used a firearm.
Quintanilla-Borja returned to his Inglewood home that day and allegedly threatened to kill his 37-year-old cousin, who barricaded himself inside a room. The officer then went outside, where he allegedly made similar threats to a 64-year-old man who also lived on the property, pulled out a gun and pointed it at the man, who managed to get away and call 911, according to the District Attorney's Office.
“The officer was allegedly under the influence at the time, significantly, and that impairment, in my view at this early stage, apparently contributed to this event,'' Moore said during a police commission meeting on May 11. “We take this matter very seriously and we will not tolerate this type of misconduct in this organization in any manner.''
Moore said the LAPD will also look into its hiring practices and how the department missed earlier allegations of misconduct off-duty and excessive use of alcohol involving Quintanilla-Borja.
“This incident did involve allegations of excessive use of alcohol and not on a single event, but earlier accounts attributed to this officer's conduct off duty,'' Moore said. “This (investigation) will involve us looking at all of that to see how did we miss it.''
Quintanilla-Borja was hired by the LAPD in January 2020 and was assigned to the 77th Street Division. The Los Angeles Police Department dispatched internal affairs investigators to support Inglewood officers in their investigation. Moore removed peace officer power from Quintanilla-Borja and assigned him to home during the investigation.
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