AG Xavier Becerra to review LAPD's use of CA gang database amid allegations of falsified records

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- The California Department of Justice will review the Los Angeles Police Department's records and policies regarding use of the state's gang member database after allegations emerged that officers in an elite crime suppression team falsified records and listed innocent people as gang members.

"We do not have a full or clear picture of what occurred, but we know enough that we must act. Any falsification of police records and abuse of the CalGang database is unacceptable," Attorney General Xavier Becerra said Monday.

According to Becerra, approximately 80,000 are listed in the database, a criminal intelligence compilation of gang members and associates statewide used by local, state, federal and tribal law enforcement agencies to share information. The attorney general could revoke or suspend the LAPD's access.

Becerra said it's unclear how many of those may have been entered erroneously and declined comment when asked if other agencies are also being investigated.

MORE: LAPD officers accused of falsifying reports, wrongly classifying people as gang members
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LAPD officers in an elite division of the department are under investigation over allegations that they falsified reports and listed some innocent people as gang members.

The LAPD has also launched its own internal investigation into the matter. At least 20 members of the police department's Metropolitan Division are under investigation after authorities found inaccuracies on field interview cards that police officers fill out after stopping and questioning people.
The department says it has already initiated a series of changes to ensure the integrity of the information entered into the system. Meanwhile, the attorney general's office plans to audit the police department's CalGang entries beyond those entered by Metropolitan Division members.

Police Chief Michel Moore announced in January that he is seeking to fire one Metropolitan Division officer, who has not been publicly identified. The officer will face an internal administrative tribunal and two others are suspended. The department has presented the case to Los Angeles County prosecutors for possible criminal charges.

LAPD chief seeks to fire officer accused of classifying innocent people as gang members
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LAPD Chief Michel Moore announced he is seeking to fire an officer who allegedly falsified reports and listed some innocent people as gang members.

Becerra said the police department did not inform the attorney general's office of its probe until after media reports surfaced. The department has promised to investigate the alleged misuse and institute reforms.

"The California Gang Database is a critical tool for law enforcement in its efforts to solve violent crime and any information entered must be accurate," Moore said in a statement after Becerra spoke with reporters. "We are committed to holding anyone who falsified information accountable and will also fully cooperate with the State Attorney General office."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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