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Letters: Chief Beck's mea culpa

November 04, 2012
(Los Angeles Times )

Re "LAPD hid key details in use of force," Nov. 1

I have written a number of letters to this paper, primarily to clarify what I think are important issues or to take The Times to task when I believe inaccuracies have been reported. This letter is different; it is an admission that The Times was right and the Los Angeles Police Department was wrong.

The article on an officer-involved shooting in the Newton area questioned why key information that the individual we shot was handcuffed was omitted from our original news release. Our explanation that we have to balance the needs of the investigation with the public's right to know was accurate as far as it goes, but in this particular case, we erred by not originally putting out the information that the suspect was handcuffed. We weren't trying to hide the facts; instead, we were overzealous in protecting the purity of the investigation. We went too far, and I thank The Times for pointing this out.

This officer-involved shooting will be thoroughly investigated, and if necessary corrective measures will be imposed. The LAPD prides itself on having the most exhaustive and transparent use-of-force investigations in the nation, and it is my intention to make that part of my legacy to this department.

Charlie Beck

Los Angeles

The writer is chief of the Los Angeles Police Department.

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