LAPD Misclassified More Than 25,000 Aggravated Assaults as Minor Incidents, Audit Shows

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Poor training, an error-prone records system and widespread confusion among Los Angeles police led to thousands of serious crimes being omitted from the city’s tally of violence over the past seven years, an audit by the department’s independent watchdog found.

In the report, which was released Friday, Inspector General Alex Bustamante estimated the LAPD misclassified more than 25,000 aggravated assaults as minor incidents from 2008 to 2014.

The errors meant the number of serious attacks would have been 36% higher than what the LAPD reported during that time, the audit found. Aggravated assaults are included in the department’s official count of crime, while the less-serious incidents are not counted.

The number of misclassified crimes was not large enough to alter the overall crime trends reported by the department from one year to the next, which included a steady drop in violence until 2014, when the crime rate began to climb. Bustamante’s report echoes the findings of a Times analysis in October that also concluded the department misclassified thousands of crimes during an eight-year period ending in 2012.

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