Alleged police shooting hoax is reminder of earlier case of 'hero' cop turned bomb suspect
LAPD Chief Charlie Beck, at a press conference Friday to discuss the arrest of a school police officer for falsely claiming to be shot, cited an earlier case with some similarities.
It occurred in 1984 and centered on LAPD Officer Jimmy Pearson, who was accused and later pleaded guilty to planting a bomb-type device on a bus carrying the luggage of a Turkish Olympic team.
According to coverage at the time:
Pearson became the brief focus of international attention as the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Games drew to a close, when he "discovered" a pipe bomb in the wheel well of the bus at Los Angeles International Airport. The officer ripped its wiring apart, sprinted 50 yards and tossed it onto a runway.
Police Chief Daryl F. Gates praised Pearson for a "hell of a courageous act." But the next day, a grim-faced Gates announced the officer's arrest. The chief said that he had ordered an investigation after becoming suspicious of Pearson's story and that the officer failed a polygraph test and subsequently confessed.
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-- Richard Winton