CRASH, The Los Angeles Police Department’s Rampart Division Scandal


The Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) is the third biggest local law enforcement agency in the United States. They receive an annual budget of $1.4 billion which is distributed to more than 10,000 officers and 3,000 civilian staff, which are by duty, responsible for covering 3.8 million people in an area of 498 square miles (1,290 km2). Big city equals to big problems and LA is no exception. Beyond the magnificent Hollywood sign, lifestyle of the rich and famous, the biggest movie studios on the planet, the Hollywood walk of fame and many other distinguished locations, live a parallel universe full of gangs, rapes, murders, drugs, assault, robbery and many other horrific and negative acts.With the gangs being behind a huge percentage of all the major problems, a special anti-gang unit was forged in LAPD’s Rampart Division in the late 1990s. This special task force went under the name of CRASH, which stand for Community Resources Against Street Hoodlums. This task force later became synonymous with the most costly and media covered case of corruption and embezzlement in LAPD’s history. An outstanding number of seventy police officers in the CRASH unit were possibly involved in some level of mischief which is a high enough number to be in the Guinness Book of Records. The convicted offenses ranged from:-unprovoked gun fires
-unprovoked assaults
-falsely planting of evidence
-framing and black mailing of suspects
-home robberies
-selling drugs
-robbing banks
-to meticulously covering up hard facts about these corruptionsIn the hip-hop community, the effects had an bigger impact when at least 3 of the Rampart’s officers were found to be affiliated with Marion “Suge” Knight ( ex-CEO of Death Row Records), who is known to be have ties with the Bloods. That’s not all, on April 16 2007, with testimony from detectives and a wrongful death lawsuit filed, holds Rampart CRASH police officers Nino Durden, Rafael Prez and David Mack responsible for the 1997 murder of rap/hip hop Badboy’s recording artist Notorious B.I.G. aka Biggie Smalls.By May 2001, Based mostly on the testimonies of Prez, the Rampart investigation targeted over 70 officers for misconduct and the aftermath of the scandal resulted as such:-Out of the 70 officers targeted and with enough evidence, only 58 had go for interrogation in front of the internal administrative board.
-24 were convicted for wrongdoing
-12 were given suspensions ranging from different length
-7 quit
-5 were fired
-106 prior criminal convictions were overturned
-140 civil lawsuits were filed against the city of Los Angeles
-$125 million dollars has to be paid in settlementsTraining Day starring Denzel Washington, Ethan Hawke, Scott Glenn, Tom Berenger, Harris Yulin, Raymond J. Barry and Cliff Curtis, was one of the few movies based on the scandal. But a new movie entitled, Rampart, is set to start shooting next month and should be in theatres by next year. It wil be directed by Oren Moverman and the writers are James Ellroy (for the story) and Oren Moverman (for the screenplay). So far the cast list include Steve Buscemi, Sigourney Weaver, Robin Wright, Woody Harrelson, Ben Foster, Anne Heche, Ice Cube and Cynthia Nixon.