Officers Charged With Misidentifying Gang Members

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Three more Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) officers have been charged with falsifying records and allegedly misidentifying people they stopped as gang members.

The Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office stated in a news release on Friday that Officer Rene Braga was charged with a count of preparing false documentary evidence and filing a false police report. If convicted as charged, Braga could serve a maximum of three years and eight months in county jail.

Officers Raul Uribe and Julio Garcia face charges for one count of preparing false documentary evidence. If the two officers are found guilty, they could serve up to three years in jail.

The news release announced that, “in all three cases, the defendants are accused of writing on the card that a person admitted to being a gang member even though body-worn camera video showed the defendants either never asked the individuals about their gang membership or the individuals denied gang membership if they were asked.”

The aforementioned interview cards were then used to wrongly enter the individuals into a gang database.

Less than three months ago, three fellow LAPD Metropolitan Division officers were charged with similar crimes. Braxton Shaw was charged with eight counts of filing a false police report, 43 counts of preparing false documentary evidence involving field interview cards, and one count of conspiracy. If convicted, Shaw can serve up to 31 years and eight months in county jail.

Michael Coblentz was charged with five counts of filing a false report, seven counts of preparing false evidence, and one count of conspiracy. He could serve up to seven years and eight months in jail if he is convicted.

Nicolas Martinez was charged with two counts of filing a false report and preparing false documentary evidence, as well as one count of conspiracy. If convicted, he could face up to four years and four months in jail.

Shaw, Coblentz, and Martinez are set to appear in court on October 13 for arraignment. Braga, Uribe, and Garcia are set to be arraigned on February 5.

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