A veteran Los Angeles Police Department detective who once fatally shot a fellow officer and was heard on a recording making light of the killing has been fired, his attorney said Wednesday.
Frank Lyga was released from duty, his attorney Ira Salzman said, after Chief Charlie Beck signed a termination order Tuesday.
"We were not given an opportunity to appeal the termination," Salzman told NBC4.
The detective "is no longer an LAPD employee," Cmdr. Andrew Smith told the Associated Press.
Lyga had been assigned to home in June after the recording surfaced.
In the recording, Lyga, who as an undercover narcotics detective in 1997 fatally shot a black LAPD officer who was off duty, can be heard saying, "I could have killed a whole truckload of them and would have happily done that."
Lyga apologized, saying,"I can't talk about this. My only comment is: I made some inappropriate comments. I regret what I said. I embarrassed myself and my department and for that I am sorry."
The Los Angeles Police Protective League, the union that represents rank-and-file officers, did comment Wednesday on Lyga's release from duty.
It previously defended Lyga in a statement, saying, "When one listens to the tape in context, it is clear that Detective Lyga was not celebrating the killing of anybody," the statement said. "Although we do not support the denigration of any person, or group of persons, if there is a news interest here, it is far larger than improper remarks by a detective who 17 years later is still being asked about an experience he lived through that would deeply affect any of us."
Seventeen years ago, while working undercover, Lyga shot to death an off-duty officer, Kevin Gaines. The LAPD concluded it was a road-rage situation and that Gaines had threatened Lyga.