LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — The Los Angeles Police Department is facing serious criticism after Chief Charlie Beck overruled the firing of an officer with family ties within the department.
The L.A. Police Commission discussed the case Tuesday without mentioning Officer Shaun Hillman by name, in a meeting that included the Commission's legal counsel.
Hillman is the nephew of former LAPD Deputy Chief Michael Hillman. His father is also a retired LAPD officer.
The 33-year-old Hillman reportedly got into an altercation at a bar in Norco, where he pulled a gun on a man and used racial slurs.
According to various reports, when questioned by the Riverside County Sheriff's Department, Hillman admitted on audiotape to being drunk the night of the incident, pulling a gun and using racial slurs. He was not charged with a crime.
But when the LAPD conducted its internal investigation, Hillman allegedly denied everything. A disciplinary board unanimously recommended he be fired for lack of integrity.
Chief Beck overruled the disciplinary board, and Hillman received a 65-day suspension instead.
Since Beck became chief, the disciplinary board has ruled that 100 officers should be fired. Beck has agreed in all but two cases, including Hillman's.
"I told my nephew and brother, don't you ask anyone in the department for special treatment on this. You take your punishment," former Deputy Chief Michael Hillman told KCAL9's Dave Lopez by phone.
According to Soboroff and the LAPD, Beck was on a planned vacation and unavailable for comment Tuesday.
Soboroff said he would not respond to the question when asked if he preferred that Hillman be fired.
"This morning I talked to the Chief; I talk to him every day. I've known for a month and a half or two months that he was going to be out this week. But we had a chat. And he's got a tough job," Soboroff said.
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