LAPD Chief Charlie Beck Reacts After Recent Arrests of Officers

Speaking to cadets from an LAUSD magnet school, LAPD Chief Charlie Beck admits he eluded to bad choices his own officers are accused of doing over the last several weeks.

"Life is about choices and I had a very few of my police officers make very bad choices very publicly and they brought discredit not only to themselves but to the organization," he said. "And we will deal with that."

Beck spoke after news broke Thursday night that an LAPD officer was under investigation for sexually assaulting a teenage girl in Torrance. And last week in Glendale, LAPD Cmdr. Nichole Mehringer and Sgt. James Kelly were arrested on suspicion of DUI. Mehringer reports directly to Beck.

Last week, LAPD Officer Mambasse Patara was charged federally, accused of smuggling two Mexican citizens into the country to work on his house.

Two weeks ago, Officer Edgar Verduzco was arrested and charged with three counts of murder in connection with a suspected DUI crash in Whittier.

"We select from the human race and the human race is flawed," Beck said. "Whether it's the clergy, teaching, media, people fail. Unfortunately when a police officer fails, it is spectacular."

Beck says he holds his officers to a higher standard.

"That's why we vigorously prosecute them and after we prosecute them, I discipline them and that discipline could include firing and in some of these cases it will."

The chief would not say which way he would discipline any of the officers involved in the latest cases, but wanted to stress the point that this does not paint the proper picture for the full LAPD.

"This is a very small handful involved in some egregious activity off duty," he said. "It had nothing to do with their employment, other than the fact that they have a higher standard which they must uphold and they did not. I will deal with them, the public can be assured of that."

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