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Alcohol cited in LAPD officer's alleged firing of gun near downtown pub

Several Los Angeles police officers were being questioned Wednesday in connection with an early morning incident in which at least one of them fired a gunshot outside a downtown pub, said several department sources familiar with the investigation.

No one was hurt in the incident reported about 2 a.m. near Weiland Brewery Restaurant in the 400 block of E. 1st Street, according to the sources, who asked not to be named because they were not authorized to discuss details of the investigation.

Three off-duty officers were outside the pub when one of them pulled out a gun and fired at least one shot in the direction of a street lamp, according to the sources.

Based on preliminary information, the sources said, investigators believe the officer was impaired after a heavy night of drinking, which, barring additional evidence, was cited as "the primary factor" in the incident.

The officers were not identified. The Los Angeles Police Protective League, which represents the LAPD's 10,000 officers, had no immediate comment on the incident.

In April, league President Paul M. Weber warned officers about the risks of alcohol and provided information on where they could get help in an article in the union's internal newsletter, The Thin Blue Line.

"Estimates show that alcohol abuse among police officers in the United States is approximately double that of the general population, wherein one in 10 adults abuses alcohol," Weber wrote. "While the social use of alcohol may be accepted in most professions, excessive drinking by police officers can impair their ability to function properly at work and may result in disciplinary issues."

Alcohol impairment was cited as a factor in two fatal accidents that claimed the lives of LAPD officers.

In December, LAPD Officer Kenneth Aragon, a 19-year veteran of the department and a father of five, was killed after several hours of drinking with other officers and guests in a banquet room outfitted with a bar on the upper floor of the Los Angeles Police Academy's main building. LAPD officials said Aragon's blood-alcohol level was "well over" the legal limit.

Aragon had attended an unofficial but regular get-together known as "payday Wednesday" that had been held every other week at the Elysian Park campus. That event was discontinued in January after Aragon's death.

In February, off-duty Officer Jacqueline Montalvo, 37, a veteran of the LAPD's Hollywood Division, died after she swerved into oncoming traffic, causing a chain-reaction auto accident in Diamond Bar, authorities said. The Los Angeles County coroner determined that her blood-alcohol level was 0.18%, more than twice the legal limit for driving.

With those incidents in mind, LAPD Chief Charlie Beck last month addressed the alcohol problem, which has emerged as a national issue in policing circles, in a message to the department's rank and file.

"Using alcohol to deal with job stress can quickly lead to alcohol abuse and drinking and driving," Beck wrote. "Statistics from 2006-2008 revealed that on average, 21 department employees, sworn and civilian, are arrested each year for DUI... When consumption of alcohol leads to abuse and dependence connected to psychological concerns, the effects are seen and felt at home and the workplace."

-- Andrew Blankstein and Joel Rubin

 
Comments () | Archives (29)

Only they, can drink and abuse....

it's like the wild wild west with these guys. in all likelihood, this incident will get swept under the rug and only a wrist will get slapped. just imagine if it was a minority shooting out street lights, downtown, drunk, early morning hours--he or she would have been shot by the same cops.

It is just LA's Gods during one of the things they do best.

Union has "no comment", SCUMBAGS.

I guess the cops think it's ok for them to get wasted on alcohol, then go out the next day busting people for using a little cannabis.


Cannabis is SAFER than alcohol. Studies conclude it is less toxic and less intoxicating. Alcohol is also physically addictive, cannabis is not.


Alcohol use fuels aggressive behavior and violence, cannabis use does not.


Legalizing cannabis will severely shrink the violent cartels and street gangs by wiping out 60% of their profit. It will take cannabis out of the hands of criminals and put it in a well-regulated market only available to adults.


Cannabis is SAFER than alcohol! Let people choose the SAFER drug for relaxation and recreation.

OMG how many negative stories is the LA Times going to post on LAPD? This is bias and unfair reporting beyond the norm. LAPD officers have "human mentalities" sometimes. And yes, they are suppose to be trained better but give me a break they deal with some of the most horrible criminal element in our society. They'll get punished for doing wrong. HOWEVER, why don't you report on a lot of the positive these officers are doing in low income communities with kids? Many officers work with high risk children
to help them stay away from gangs. There are hundreds of positive stories you fail to put out

Hey man I went to Iraq I deserve special treatment...

Rick is right, if it were a minority male doing the exact same thing, you bet the criminal charges would be on him fast, and everyone would consider that person extremely dangerous. But if it's a police officer, alcohol justifies it.

The Weiland Brewery Restaurant is a well known Cop Bar. They go there to get drunk then jump in their cars and drive home.

Ain't it the truth? I hate cops!

No big deal- just another cop doing a criminal act for which "somebody else" would get locked up...his Buds on the force will take him home to sleep it over then it's back to the streets to harass American citizens over such terrible crimes like "jaywalking"...

They do live by there own special rules. Last week if the motorcyclist injured on the 405 was any average citizen was , I doubt they would have shut down the entire side of the freeway and part of the other side for as many hours as they did. All of it was special for their own.

They can get as drunk as they want with a gun, but in CA all you are left to defend yourself with a little can of pepper spray.

He should apply for chief in Riverside.

Wow! Shooting at lamp posts... the past-time of some drunk LAPD officers.

We all know nothing will happen to this cop for discharging a firearm in the city.
if it were anybody but a cop they would be in jail.

thats where he should be...and fired.

I don't see the big deal.... I mean it's not like its your average citizen going out drinking and driving right?? We are not allowed, but as with running red lights, stop signs, and using their cell phones without a proper hands free device.... so too is drinking and driving. They are allowed because they are law. Just stop in to one of their regular watering holes and you will see, they are actually worse when they get drunk because of the badge! Pitiful!!

I am not shocked with anything being done by the LAPD, they feel they are above the rest of the citizens and they feel that they can get away with everything, including murder. Oh wait, that was Oakland... I guess abuse by police is everywhere.

Make it a felony to have any alcohol in your system when carrying a gun. Guns are way more dangerous than cars. That's why the Army gives it's troops M16's, rather than Ford Fiestas.

Just another member of the biggest gang in America, who once again, put the public in danger, but will get away with his crime and continue to put families at risk.

If these guys were non-cops they all would have been identified by now. However, the fading blue line always seems to protects these thugs from public scrutiny and the broken justice system.

Wish the rest of us could live in a world of impunity with the "heroes" in uniform.

Didn't LA make it a felony to shoot a gun in the air? So, why aren't these officers charged? The round could have killed as easily as anyone else's.

The Officer should and will be charged!

Maybe the lamppost was going for it's waistband and the officer felt threatened...let's not judge until we have all the facts...

besides, theres nothing worse than walking outside a dark bar and have one of those glaring spotlights just beaming down on you...blinding you...
It was self-defense....

EVERY TIME I SEE A COP HIS CELL PHONE IS ON HIS EAR

I am a law enforcement officer with LAPD. My personal opinion is that any officer that is caught drinking and driving or shooting in the air or shooting at a light while intoxicated should be FIRED! We are held to a higher standard. There is no excuse for this.

HMM DRUNK WITH A GUN..... THATS AN EXCELENT IDEA AND ITS NOT EVEN NEW YEARS EVE.. WHY IS IT THAT A COP CAN GET AWAY WITH BEING CHARGED WITH A JUSTIFIED FELONY? HE SHOULD BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE FOR HIS OWN ACTIONS LIKE THE REST OF US! WE CANT EVEN GET AWAY WITH A TRAFFIC TICKET WHY SHOULD THEY!! WONDER WHAT WOULD OF HAPPEN IF HE KILLED SOMEONE.

 
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