LAPD Detective Under Fire for Racially Charged Recording Assigned to Home

Frank Lyga made racially insensitive remarks in a recording played at the police academy

An LAPD detective under fire after he was heard on a recording speaking vulgarly at the police academy and seemingly making light of a killing has been assigned to home, a department spokesman said Thursday.

Frank Lyga was sent home Thursday, based on new information that came to the attention of Chief Charlie Beck, department spokesman Andy Smith said.

He will be assigned to home until the investigation is complete. No other details were released.

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."

Former LAPD Chief Bernard Parks, who is a Los Angeles City Councilman, and other officials were critical of Lyga.

Parks was the LAPD chief at the time of the shooting.

Messages left for Lyga and his attorney, Ira Salzman, were not returned.

Lyga has apologized saying his comments were inappropriate and embarrassing.

The Los Angeles Police Protective League, the union that represents rank-and-file officers, defended Lyga previously in a statement.

"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.

Editor's Note: An earlier version of this story said the detective was relieved of duty. LAPD spokesman Smith contacted NBC4 and corrected his previous statement, stating that Lyga has been assigned to home.

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