Two LA Police Officers Indicted
LOS ANGELES (AP) _ In a case predating the city’s police corruption scandal, two officers were indicted Wednesday on federal charges of framing a suspect and lying under oath.
The civil rights charges against Officer Edward Patrick Ruiz and former Officer Jon Paul Taylor mirrored the allegations of frame-ups, lying and planted evidence that have come to light in the Rampart Division scandal, which has led to 50 convictions being overturned.
Wednesday’s indictment relates to a five-year-old case dealing with officers assigned to the 77th Division.
``Obviously, these officers participated in an activity similar to Rampart,″ Police Chief Bernard C. Parks said.
The three-count grand jury indictment accuses the men of conspiring to frame Victor Tyson for possession of a concealed weapon. U.S. Attorney Alejandro Mayorkas said the officers knew he was not the man who had dropped a weapon.
He said the officers had been chasing two black men who dropped a blue-handled revolver and escaped. Tyson, who was standing nearby, was arrested, Mayorkas said.
Taylor and Ruiz testified at Tyson’s trial, but in mid-trial a deputy city attorney dismissed the charge after discovering inconsistencies in testimony. The judge referred the matter for investigation.
Taylor resigned from the force, and in 1998 Ruiz was found guilty of lying in the Tyson case by a police department board of rights panel. He was given a 22-day suspension.
The defendants, who are not in custody, will be arraigned at an unspecified future time. They face up to 10 years in prison.