LOS ANGELES (CNS) - Two Long Beach Police Department officers pleaded not guilty today to charges they filed a false police report involving an arrest just over four years ago.
Dedier Reyes, 38, and David Salcedo, 28, were charged Dec. 3 with one count each of filing a false report and falsifying a public record. Reyes is also charged with one count of perjury.
Reyes, a 16-year veteran of the police force, and Salcedo, a five-year department veteran, were arrested Dec. 3 and released from custody.
Reyes and Salcedo are accused of lying about the circumstances surrounding the recovery of a handgun after they detained two men outside a taqueria and found a bag with a loaded handgun inside on Feb. 15, 2018, resulting in the wrong person being arrested and briefly held in custody, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office.
Reyes allegedly filed the report under penalty of perjury.
Long Beach Police Department detectives discovered discrepancies in the police reports and surveillance video regarding a firearms arrest conducted by Reyes and Salcedo, according to a statement released in December by the police department.
``Through their review, detectives learned that the officers' actions were inconsistent with their written reports,'' according to the Long Beach Police Department. ``The arrested subject was immediately released and charges were not filed against him.''
Police did not identify the man who was arrested by Reyes and Salcedo.
``We have high standards and expectations of every employee. When the actions of an individual employee erode the values of our organization, and the public trust all of us have worked so hard to cultivate, we all must be held accountable,'' then-Police Chief Robert Luna said in a statement.
The two officers were suspended pending the outcome of the internal affairs investigation. Their current status with the department was not immediately available.
``My client is innocent of the charges. We look forward to fighting his case,'' Reyes' attorney, Benjamin W. Karabian, said outside the downtown Los Angeles courtroom after the brief hearing. ``He's a political victim of the outgoing administration of the Long Beach Police Department and we applaud the current administration for standing behind the presumption of innocence and allowing us to prove Mr. Reyes' innocence.''
A date is scheduled to be set May 25 for a hearing to determine if there is enough evidence to require the two to stand trial.