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Exonerated man sues LAPD for frame-up

July 21, 2008 12:00:00 AM PDT
A new development in the investigation into a case of alleged misconduct by LAPD officers: It involves a man arrested for drug possession. He was exonerated by surveillance video. Now he's filed a claim against the city.A recorded video turned the tables on two investigators from LAPD's gang enforcement detail. Officers Evan Samuel and Richard Amio had testified under oath that Guillermo Alarcon Jr. threw something in his carport and that they found it: a box of cocaine.

Click in the Eyewitness News Story Window above to watch the accompanying video to this story.

Not so, ruled a judge after viewing this tape.

Alarcon was exonerated Monday. He is suing LAPD and he is demanding an FBI investigation.

"Their badges should be taken away or prosecuted," said Alarcon. "Justice shouldn't be one way, just because they were officers, they shouldn't just get away with it."

Alarcon's attorney pledges to cooperate in a probe launched by the District Attorney. No longer though does he trust LAPD's Internal Affairs investigation. When IA turned up to interview Alarcon's wife, questions reverted to Alarcon's alleged link to drugs.

"That the drugs were actually mine, and that she could say that and double-jeopardy would not apply to me," said Alarcon.

"I don't believe that Internal Affairs is really searching for the truth," said Luis Carillo, Alarcon's attorney. "I believe Internal Affairs is looking for ways to clear the officers of any wrongdoing."

The officers are on paid leave. Police Chief Bratton released a statement: "We take these matters very seriously; we will not tolerate officers breaking the law to enforce the law."

If not for the tape, Alarcon could have been sentenced to 10 years in prison. It was his sister Maria who pushed the record button on their security system.

One discrepancy is obvious: The officers testified they found the drugs immediately. Yet the video shows a lengthy search.

A question officers could not answer: Which one of them actually found the drugs?

Alarcon says officers planted them and that an FBI investigation can prove it.

 

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