3 LAPD cops charged with lying under oath

LAPD police cars (License: CC BY-NC-SA 2.0) http://www.flickr.com/photos/alexbct/3379987729/
LAPD police cars (License: CC BY-NC-SA 2.0) http://www.flickr.com/photos/alexbct/3379987729/

Two LAPD officers and an ex-officer have been charged in a conspiracy and perjury case, the Los Angeles County District Attorney announced today.

Officers Manuel Ortiz and Richard Amio, and former Officer Evan Samuel lied under oath during a 2008 drug possession trial, authorities said.

The three allegedly falsely testified about seeing a suspect throw something near a trash bin at a Hollywood apartment complex in 2007, officials said.

Prosecutors say Ortiz lied that he found a package of cocaine, and that Amio and Samuel backed up his story. Alarcon threw an object that the officers claimed they found it right away, but a security video showed there was a delay of at least 20 minutes before an officer claimed he found cocaine.

The case came to light after defense attorneys for Guillermo Alarcon Jr., a grocery store worker, obtained security camera video that contradicted the officers’ story. Prosecutors asked that the case be dropped against Alarcon.

The video includes audio of one officer apparently saying to another “be creative in your writing” when writing a police report.

Defense attorney Victor Acevedo told KPCC last year that the officers don't belong on the force.

The three – who have denied wrongdoing in the past – are to be arraigned Thursday at 1:30 p.m.

The FBI is also investigating the case.