As Scandal Grows, Feds Oversee LAPD

LAPD, cops, Los Angeles Police Department corruption scandal.
Former Los Angeles Police Officer Rafael Perez has already admitted to planting evidence, lying in court, and beating up suspects.

But now authorities are reportedly investigating him for cold-blooded murder, reports CBS News Correspondent Sandra Hughes.

According to The Los Angeles Times, a former girlfriend of Perez claims he and another ex-officer killed two people. The crime allegedly took place at an apartment near the Rampart station.

Though Perez’s lawyer claims he didn’t kill anyone, a vehicle allegedly used to dump the bodies has been impounded for possible traces of blood.

Perez in court this week explained how officers routinely broke the law: "If they ran from us and discarded the narcotics in the gutter, it was no big deal to us. We’ll just put dope on you, we know you had it.

Perez turned police informant in exchange for a lighter prison sentence on charges of stealing cocaine from an evidence locker. The new allegation could put his credibility in question as a witness against other officers.

The startling charge comes on the heels of a monumental decision by the LAPD to allow the federal government to oversee the clean-up of the department following the worst scandal in LAPD history. Just last week the department agreed to a so-called consent degree.

Former federal prosecutor Laurie Levenson says, "A consent decree is the federal government stepping in and saying, we will provide oversight, we will take control of the big issues and big problems confronting LAPD."

Although not unprecedented, it’s a historic move for a department that has for decades resisted outside help.

Levenson says: "The LAPD has always said, 'Hands off our police department,' but we have been through so much. We’ve been through riots, we’ve been through Rodney King, now we’ve been through the rampart scandal. I think now there’s the political pressure and will to say, 'Make the changes.'"

One of the biggest changes will be to set up an early warning system to identify problem officers, to try to avoid the kind of scandal that has rocked this police department to it’s core.