LAPD Cooking the Books on Serious Crimes, Los Angeles Times Investigation Suggests


LAPD Rescue Truck
Steve Devol/flickr

The Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) has wrongly classified 1,200 violent crimes, largely aggravated assaults, as minor crimes, such as simple assault, an extensive review of case reports by the Los Angeles Times found. Police brass insist any mistakes were inadvertent. If they were, the Times notes, there would be a corresponding number of minor crimes improperly classified. There wasn't.

The Times spoke to several LAPD officers who criticized what looks like an attempt to cook the books on crime statistics in Los Angeles. The Times reports:

"Every little game like this has been tried over the years," said the sergeant, who asked that his name not be published because he feared punishment for criticizing the department. "All of a sudden, we're going to put somebody in jail for theft, but we'll call it something else [embezzlement]?"

Officers said it is widely believed that if their division repeatedly fails to meet targets for crime reduction, their chances of being promoted will be seriously harmed.

Read the whole article. I'll be on Sirius XM radio's NRA News at about 3:40p.m. ET to talk about this. Tune in!

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  1. Statistics are racist. Unless they’re not. Discuss.

    1. No discussion on this topic is possible here. The majority of commentors are convinced that statistics, are in fact, racist.

      1. You know, I’m happy you’re around. We’ve been dealing with the same old trolls for so long, it’s refreshing to see a new troll come along.

        1. briannnnn isn’t a troll, he just disagrees with a few people here and he thinks certain names are funny, like Myrtle. Lumping him in with the likes of Tulpa and Tony isn’t a fair cop.

          1. Thank you SN. I don’t think I could stand being lumped in with the likes of Tony. He thinks AGW is real!!!!

            1. Still think it’s not a troll, Scruffy?

              1. I’ve been reduced to this because when I make a reasoned argument I get called racist. Apparently responding in kind is trollish behavior 🙂

                1. You’ve been “reduced” to stinking up every article with lame, passive-aggressive jokes about how everyone is mean to you? No one in this discussion called you racist; you immediately jumped in to reignite this conversation you supposedly loathe.

                  1. hehehe. The first thing I saw when I logged in today was a comment about black blood, funny names, and me being racist, so I went with it. I’m really digging the black blood meme.

                  2. He’s like a more arrogant and more humorless variant of tulpa.

                    I didn’t think it was possible, but he’s here proving me wrong.

                    1. I’m not arrogant, I’m actually intellectually superior (see any exchange I’ve had with you ever for citation). And I still don’t know what a “tulpa” is, but he must laugh a lot, because I stay chucklin!

        2. I just can’t get over how annoying the handle is.

          1. Well Brian was taken…

      2. Close, 5 ns. People are racist. Statistics just reveal this fact.

        1. Oooooooohhhhh! thanks!!!

      3. Hell, there are people who are convinced that statistics are necessarily facts.

  2. Juking the stats. It’s all in the game.

  3. Woot, first!

    1. shiiiiiitteee.

    2. Clay Davis approves

    3. Joker, maybe you’d like our guys to read the paper and feel bad. In case you didn’t know it, this is not a particularly popular war…

  4. Same shit as Chicago then.

    1. Thanks, I was wondering if Chicago would get their props!

  5. who asked that his name not be published because he feared punishment for criticizing the department.

    Don’t you mean he feared retaliation for whistle-blowing?

  6. I thought overstating the major crime stats would be the preferred tactic of the War on Copz push for bigger budgets and uparmoring the troops.

    1. Well, sure, the threat law enforcement officers face every day out there on the street are beyond what the ordinary citizen faces on those same streets, but when you- LOOK OVER THERE IS THAT CHRISTOPHER DORNER DELIVERING NEWSPAPERS BAM BAM BAM– no, wait, it’s just a couple of Asian ladies.

    2. They’ve got to walk a fine line between crime being high enough to justify their bloated budgets and military tactics, while not being so high as to show them to be the incompetent thugs that they are.

    3. It’s a can’t lose proposition. Stats improve, they get raises and bonuses for a job well done. Stats get bad, throw money at the problem.

      1. Yup. The incentives are utterly perverse.

        1. One set is for hiring and equipment. One set is for negotiating the next union contract.

        2. Well from the standpoint of the guy giving the briefing, the only right answer is for the big numbers to go down.

          The big leaders (Chief, Commissioner, etc.) get to pick and choose what stats to highlight to the politicians and then pressure the lower levels to ‘go after’ certain stats, driving them up and down to play the game.

          COMSTAT is like Lean 6 Sigma. Something that can make a difference when first intoduced, but quickly turning into a ‘self-licking ice cream cone’ that just perpetuates itself.

          1. Certainly the self-licking part.

  7. who asked that his name not be published because he feared punishment for criticizing the department

    That’s it. Cower in fear of losing your ill-gotten pension so the people you want to criticize won’t have any reason to change things. Goddamned enablers.

  8. My brother is low level brass on the LAPD. We had a long and heated discussion on this topic this spring. He told me that collecting these stats were one of the big reasons that they were going down, meaning that the stats focused the force on policing the right places and right crimes to improve the general stats.

    I was an analyst in the military. I told him that telling the rank and file and their leadership to get some certain stats down will always work, but hardly ever in the way you intend.

    Why work harder to actually fix some basically bogus number, when you can adjust it down by how you collect it. Something about foreseeable consequences are not unintended.

    1. Not to mention:

      You get more of what you reward, and less of what you punish.

      Reward people for juking the stats, and punish them for honest data, and guess what happens next?

    2. “policy-based evidence”

  9. Yay! Another data point for my talking point of ‘cops lie’.

    1. Everybody lies, just like everybody poops.

      Cops doing it just affects a lot more people.

    2. You don’t have enough datum points already?

  10. LA Times investigation suggests that LAPD (and by extension the LA government, the State government, and the Federal Government) is still the criminal conspiracy to defraud the public that it has always been.


  11. Can’t spell “statistic” without “statist”

  12. lol, is anyone surprised by this?

  13. There is a lot of political pressure to make it appear that crime is going down. This way it appears the government is still in control.

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