LAPD Officer Seeks Reversal of Ranking Downgrade

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LOS ANGELES (CNS) - A Los Angeles police officer who fired upon, but did not hit, a sexual assault suspect outside Paramount Studios in Hollywood in 2020 is asking a judge to reverse an internal LAPD decision to downgrade his position.

Officer Joseph Marx's Los Angeles Superior Court petition, filed Wednesday, seeks to have him restored to a police officer III position and that all documents and files relating to his downgrade to a police officer II be removed from his personnel files.

The petition names both the city of Los Angeles and Police Chief Michel Moore as respondents.

“Marx discharged one round at a fleeing felon who had an edged weapon,'' the petition states. “The (LAPD's) Force Investigation Division had not finished their investigation when Marx was downgraded for his involvement in the (officer-involved shooting).''

An LAPD commander who testified at an April 1 administrative hearing for Marx agreed body-worn video and other evidence in the FID report could change the outcome of an FID investigation, the petition states. The commander did not know the policy for firing at a fleeing felon and was not sure if the suspect was near potential civilians who could become hostages, according to the petition.

The commander also agreed that the incident involved an “unfolding investigation that would take many months to conclude'' and that he was given “limited information'' about what Marx was thinking at the time of the incident, the petition states.

Yet, the single video that was produced at the administrative hearing and reviewed by the commander led him to order the downgrade, the petition states.

“No one should draw any conclusions on whether Officer Marx acted consistent with LAPD policies and the law until all the facts were known and the investigation completed,'' the petition states. “Without the full body of evidence in this matter, the burden of proof was not met.''

The suspect, who had been under surveillance in the area by Fullerton police conducting a sexual assault investigation, was identified as 36-year-old Bryan Gudiel Barrios. The LAPD previously said Fullerton officers attempted to arrest Barrios last Oct. 18 and he produced a knife, so officers used a Taser on him.

When the Taser did not subdue Barrios, the Fullerton officers called for help from LAPD officers, who fired 40mm rubber bullets and beanbags, the LAPD said. Those tactics also were ineffective and an officer-involved shooting occurred near the Melrose gate to the Paramount lot, according to the LAPD.

Barrios, of Fullerton, ran into the lot and barricaded himself inside a multi-story facade of a movie set and surrendered about two hours later after negotiations with police, the LAPD said.

Barrios was bleeding from self-inflicted wounds from his knife and transported to a hospital for treatment, the LAPD said. No officers were injured.

Copyright 2021, City News Service, Inc.

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