Pig head on spike left at LAPD station with history of misconduct, police brutality amid George Floyd protests
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA: A bloody pig head was left on a spike outside a Los Angeles police station infamous for a corruption and police brutality scandal following protests over the Memorial Day death of George Floyd.
Law enforcement sources confirmed to TMZ that the head was discovered outside of the Los Angeles Police Department's Rampart Station this past Saturday, June 6, but they were unsure if it was to be taken as a threat.
The department is said to be looking into the incident further and is reviewing surveillance footage in the area to check if they can zero in on the individual who placed the head.
They have also advised officers from the station to maintain a low profile while off duty to avoid confrontations with a public that has been vigorously protesting Floyd's death over the past two weeks.
The Daily Mail reported that the Rampart Station still carried with it a taint because of a misconduct and brutality scandal that had rocked it in 1998 and has since been considered to be one of the most widespread cases of documented police corruption in the US.
The scandal had seen more than 70 officers implicated with misconduct after it was found they were behind unprovoked shootings of gang members, unprovoked beatings, planting false evidence, stealing and dealing narcotics, bank robbery, perjury, and covering up evidence to hide these nefarious activities.
The officers involved were a part of the Community Resources Against Street Hoodlums (CRASH) anti-gang unit of the Rampart division and of the 70, 58 were brought before an internal administrative board. However, only 24 were eventually found to have committed any wrongdoing, with 12 given suspensions of various lengths, seven forced into resignation or retirement, and five terminated.
As a result of that scandal and the subsequent probe into falsified evidence and police perjury, 106 criminal convictions were overturned. It also resulted in more than 140 civil lawsuits against Los Angeles that cost the city an estimated $125 million in settlements.
While the widespread protests against police brutality and racial inequality that have enveloped Los Angeles in the wake of Floyd's May 25 death have caught national and international attention, it is not the first time the city has found itself in such a situation.
Los Angeles was famously ground zero for massive riots after five white Los Angeles Police Department officers were acquitted of any crime for their role in the beating of Rodney King in 1991.
Stacey Koon, Laurence Powell, Timothy Wind, Theodore Briseno, and Rolando Solano had surrounded King, tased him, hit him repeatedly with side-handled batons, and then finally tackled him to the ground before handcuffing him. The entire incident was captured on camera but the video was still not enough to convince a jury to convict the officers.
The relationship between the city's police and its residents has always been fraught with tension and, before the pig head incident, had been in the limelight because of LAPD Chief Michel Moore's comments over the George Floyd protests.
Moore had called the protests "criminal acts" and suggested that Floyd's "death is on their [the protesters'] hands, as much as it is those officers" before walking back on it following widespread outrage.