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Peer Reporting Of Excessive Force By LAPD Officers Is Far Lower Than Public Complaints. Where Is the Disconnect?

Los Angeles police officers run to formation during a protest on June 1.
Los Angeles police officers run to formation during a protest on June 1.
Frederic J. Brown/AFP via Getty Images

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Under California law, police officers have to report colleagues who exhibit excessive force. According to the LA Times, in the last five years, the number of officers who were peer-reported has been five -- or possibly even two. 

Meanwhile, there have been thousands of unauthorized force complaints filed by the public against officers. So where is the disconnect?

LAPD Chief Michel Moore told the LA Times that the low numbers are due to poor tracking of these reports. 

Some critics have pointed to a “code” of silence in the LAPD; a culture of protecting other officers and an implicit understanding that stepping out of line can lead to retaliation. The LAPD has denied many of these critiques. We convene a roundtable for a deep dive.


Kevin Rector, reporter for the Los Angeles Times covering the Los Angeles Police Department; his recent piece is “LAPD data show few officers report excessive force by peers; better tracking promised”; he tweets @kevrector

Robert Harris, a director of the Los Angeles Police Protective League, the union representing Los Angeles Police Department officers, and an LAPD officer

Connie Rice, LA-based civil rights lawyer; she is an honorary life trustee of KPCC

Cheryl Dorsey, retired sergeant with the Los Angeles Police Department who served for 20 years from 1980-2000; she is the author of “Black & Blue (The Creation of a Manifesto): The True Story of an African-American Woman on the LAPD and the Powerful Secrets She Uncovered“ (Universal Kingdom Print, 2013); she tweets @sgtcheryldorsey