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LAPD Foothill Division commanding officer demoted after use-of-force video surfaces

A screenshot from NBCLA shows an arrest in a parking lot in which an officer wrestles a driver to the ground.
A screenshot from NBCLA shows an arrest in a parking lot in which an officer wrestles a driver to the ground. NBCLA

Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck announced Wednesday he is demoting the commanding officer of the Foothill Division and has relieved him of his commanding duty.

The announcement came after a video released Tuesday showed two Foothill Division officers slamming a woman driver to the ground twice during a traffic stop last week near Tujunga.

Chief Beck read this written statement during an impromptu press conference called Wednesday evening.

“I have serious concerns about this incident and I believe the Commanding Officer of Foothill Area was severely deficient in his response.  Proper steps were not taken, including appropriate notifications and the removal of the involved officers from the field.  Because of these issues, I have removed him from his command and initiated downgrade procedures.  Every Los Angeles Police Officer, regardless of rank, will be held accountable for their actions.”

Beck did not take questions about his decision, nor did he reveal the name of the Foothill Division commanding officer. But the LAPD website lists Captain III Joseph Hiltner as the highest ranking officer of the Foothill Division.

Chief Beck told KPCC’s Patt Morrison Wednesday afternoon that the video of the traffic stop has been ordered to be shown at roll call at every police station and that commanding officers have been ordered to discuss use of force with their officers. 

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