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San Diego police beef up internal affairs unit amid officer misconduct allegations

May 15, 2011 | 10:47 am

San Diego police scandal

The San Diego Police Department is beefing up its internal affairs unit after a series of misconduct allegations involving officers.

A 24-hour hotline, which will be monitored by Chief William Lansdowne, has been established to field citizen complaints.

Of 10 recent incidents — including allegations of drunk driving, spousal abuse, rape, stalking and excessive force — four allegedly occurred while the officers were on duty. Of the allegations involving excessive force, none involves gunfire.

One off-duty officer is accusing of punching a neighborhood teenager after finding him smoking marijuana in a car outside the officer's house. Another allegation is that an on-duty officer was unusually rough in arresting a fan at a soccer match at Qualcomm Stadium — a scuffle captured on a video phone and shown repeatedly on local television.

An officer accused of demanding sex from women after traffic stops has been fired; an officer being investigated by police in El Cajon for an alleged off-duty rape has resigned under pressure.

Lansdowne's actions, including a public apology to the citizenry, are bringing support from the mayor, the City Council and other City Hall insiders.

"All of these incidents so far are clearly acts by the individual and are isolated in the sense that there isn't any failure in leadership," said John Dadian, a politically connected City Hall lobbyist.

Read the full story: In San Diego, not your typical police scandal


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-- Tony Perry in San Diego

Photo: A San Diego police officer. Credit: Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times