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City News Service

Four Los Angeles police officers should be fired for their roles in last year's May Day rally in MacArthur Park, which ended in a clash between officers, demonstrators and journalists, department officials recommended today.
The recommended firings will be reviewed by a Board of Rights, which is made up of two Los Angeles Police Department command officers and a civilian.
It was also recommended that three officers receive official reprimands; five officers receive a three-day suspension; two officers receive a five-day suspension; and one officer receive a 10-day suspension, said Deputy Chief Mark Perez.
Three of the officers were also given pay decreases, and four were transferred out of the Metropolitan Division.
The four officers recommended for termination will remain on duty until the conclusion of their disciplinary hearings. The other 11 officers have five days to appeal their suspensions and reprimands.
"It was a phenomenal black eye for the Los Angeles Police Department on that day," police Chief William Bratton told the Police Commission.
LAPD officials spent 12,000 hours investigating the complaints made against officers.
Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said May 1, 2007, was a dark day in Los Angeles but provided an opportunity for the LAPD to become a better police department.
"I feel confident that the chief has charged those he believes have violated rules and procedures, whose allegations can be sustained," Villaraigosa said.
"I think we all agree that this was a setback for the department, particularly given the four and half years of reform under Chief Bratton. I think we also agree that the only way for us to get back on track in restoring confidence that we've got a reformed department, is to take the measures and steps that he's taken to do that."
The decision brought a swift response from the Los Angeles Police Protective League.
"The fact that officers have been served recommended discipline by the department does not mean that the administrative process is over for the officers," said LAPPL President Tim Sands.
"Through the administrative process, we trust that each of the officers involved will be given a fair review that will evaluate their actions in the context of what they had been ordered to do, the tools and training they were given to accomplish those tasks and the conditions under which they were operating."
The city of Los Angeles is also facing lawsuits from 320 individuals who claim they were injured in the clash.
"The May Day events opened a tremendous wound in the community, but I believe these actions go along way in the healing process. I applaud Chief Bratton for his methodical approach in making sure everyone is held responsible," said City Councilman Ed Reyes, who represents the MacArthur Park area.

Story From:City News Service
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