A high-ranking LAPD official, Al Labrada, was positioned on administrative leave Tuesday after allegations of stalking, Chief Michel Moore stated.
Moore introduced the transfer at Tuesday’s assembly of the division’s oversight physique, the Board of Police Commissioners.
Labrada, one in every of three assistant chiefs who report back to Moore, was the topic of an Ontario police report that alleged he used an Apple AirTag to trace the actions of an LAPD police officer he was romantically concerned with, in accordance with regulation enforcement sources, who requested anonymity as a result of they weren’t approved to publicly talk about the continuing investigation.
The officer who made the report in opposition to Labrada alleged that she found an AirTag — a small monitoring system that may be hooked up to non-public gadgets — amongst her possessions, the sources stated. After division officers discovered of the allegations, they launched an inner investigation and took away Labrada’s city-issued cellphone, sources stated.
Moore advised the fee Tuesday that he was restricted in what he might say concerning the personnel matter, however that he was taking the allegations “very seriously.”
“We will continue to cooperate with the outside agency as they continue their investigation, as well as conduct our internal investigation,” Moore stated. “That means consequences should these allegations prove to be true.”
Commission President Erroll Southers stated he had ordered the inspector common’s workplace to watch the LAPD’s investigation “so we can ensure objectivity, impartiality, going forward.”
Labrada has repeatedly denied the allegations in opposition to him and signaled he’s contemplating authorized motion.
“To our understanding, what occurred today was a standard procedure and nothing further should be read in to it, other than that the matter is continuing to be investigated,” his civil legal professional, Jeremy Tissot, stated in an announcement. “We wish to jointly clarify that, in our opinion, what has been reported in the media thus far is false, as to the stalking allegations. The relationship and circumstances have also been mischaracterized.”
In the assertion, Tissot stated that “we expect him to be fully vindicated of these allegations, and he is considering all potential legal remedies by and through my office, against responsible parties in relation to these false and defamatory allegations.”
Labrada additionally employed Andrew Leventhal for the potential prison case.
The police report “mischaracterizes the nature of everything and it’s unfortunate. Hes a really good man, he’s hardworking, he loves his kids, he loves his mom,” stated Leventhal, saying he’d suggested Labrada to not converse with Ontario police for now. “There’s no stalking, that’s just a complete mischaracterization. That’s untrue.”
After The Times inquired concerning the Ontario police report final week, the LAPD confirmed it was conducting its personal inner investigation into the matter and stated Labrada would proceed serving in his put up.
Then, in an electronic mail that went out to all division personnel Monday, Labrada stated he can be taking a weeklong “absence from command.” According to the e-mail, which was reviewed by The Times, Deputy Chief David Kowalski will assume management of the Office of Special Operations — which oversees a lot of the division’s specialised items, together with the key crimes, gang and narcotics, and air assist divisions — in Labrada’s absence.
The transfer to administrative leave marks a dramatic flip for Labrada, thought of by some to be a possible inner candidate to interchange Moore, who has stated he won’t serve out his second second-year time period as chief, in accordance with a number of sources who requested anonymity to debate the division’s inner affairs.
Labrada was additionally the highest-ranking Latino in a division the place greater than half the officers determine as Latino.
The 30-year LAPD veteran is a member of Latin American Law Enforcement Assn., which advocates on behalf of Latino officers. His identify was noticeably absent from the group’s presentation Tuesday earlier than the Police Commission.
Labrada is just not the primary high-ranking LAPD official in current historical past to abruptly leave his put up amid allegations of misconduct.
In 2018, one other assistant chief, Jorge Villegas, retired abruptly after sources advised The Times he was having an improper sexual relationship with a feminine subordinate. An LAPD surveillance unit caught Villegas and the subordinate apparently engaged in a intercourse act in a parking zone, the sources stated.
Villegas’ case resurfaced this 12 months in a courtroom submitting from a former LAPD commander who’s suing the division for retaliation.
Apple AirTags, that are the scale of 1 / 4 and price about $29, had been launched in 2021 as a means of serving to individuals preserve monitor of and get better misplaced private gadgets, permitting customers to get notified when a tool is close by. They have drawn the priority of advocates for victims of home violence, who’ve warned that they can be utilized for monitoring somebody with out their consent.
Allegations of LAPD officers misusing the gadgets additionally surfaced not too long ago in an investigation of a Valley-area gang unit, which is being investigated by the FBI for potential civil rights violations.