Wednesday, May 25, 2005

From the 'Screwcash' blog:

Officer Gaines Posted by Hello

Undercover L.A.P.D. officer Frank Lyga shot and killed off-duty L.A.P.D. officer Kevin Gaines in a case of apparent road rage. The shooting of a black officer -- Gaines -- by a white cop -- Lyga -- created a highly publicized police controversy.

Lyga told FRONTLINE that Gaines threatened him with a gun and that he responded in self-defense, adding, "In my training experience this guy had 'I'm a gang member' written all over him."

Investigators on the case discovered that Gaines had allegedly been involved in similar road rage incidents, threatening drivers and brandishing his gun. They also discovered troubling connections between Gaines and Death Row Records, a rap recording label owned by Marion "Suge" Knight that, investigators came to find, was hiring off-duty police officers as security guards.

Lyga, who had been reassigned to desk duty while the L.A.P.D. reviewed the circumstances of the shooting, including whether his actions had been racially motivated, was ultimately exonerated a year later. Three separate internal investigations determined that the shooting was "in policy."

After the shooting, the Gaines family, represented by attorney Johnnie Cochran, filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the city of Los Angeles for $25 million. The city later settled the suit for $250,000.

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