Officer Rene Braga is charged with filing a false police report and preparing false documentary evidence, the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office said in a Friday news release. Officers Raul Uribe and Julio Garcia each face one count of preparing false documentary evidence, the release said.
“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 news release said.
Information from the interview cards was used to wrongly enter individuals into a gang database, the release said.
Police use interview cards to document stops and other interactions with people on their beats.
CNN has been unable to determine if the officers have retained attorneys. The newly-charged officers are set to be arraigned on February 5. Braga could face up to three years and eight months in jail and Uribe and Garcia and could face three years in jail, the news release said.
“Our expectation is that any officer filling out a police report or field interview card does so with the utmost care and accuracy,” the Los Angeles Police Protective League Board of Directors said in a statement to CNN.
“While we are not privy to all the facts in this case, the LAPD’s national model on police accountability and rigorous internal investigative processes is on full display with regards to this incident,” the board said. “It is our expectation that the district attorney and the department will ensure that these officers are accorded their due process rights and that the legal process will be conducted in a fair manner to determine the truth.”
LAPD chief Michel Moore said the department is committed to a thorough investigation of these actions and has already taken steps to ensure it doesn’t happens again.
“Reverence for the Law and Respect for People are the pillars of our core values. We will strive to live up to those principles by holding anyone accountable who violates them,” he said.
As a result of the previous case, the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office says it is reviewing hundreds of cases involving the accused officers.