The Los Angeles Police Department division under scrutiny for officers who allegedly falsified field interview cards that portrayed people as gang members has played an outsized role in the production of those cards, a Times analysis found.
The field interview cards have been used for decades to gather intelligence and create a database that officers can access to help with investigations. Police can fill them out to document encounters they have with anyone they question on their beat. Information from the cards is also used to add names to the statewide CalGang database.
The elite Metropolitan Division made up about 4% of the force but accounted for more than 20% of the department’s field interview cards issued during a recent 18-month period, the analysis shows. The division completed 44,000 cards from July 1, 2018, through the end of last year.
Metro Division officers completed the cards in 65% of their stops, more than three times the rate of officers in the 77th Street, Southeast and Southwest divisions, which have more crime than other parts of the city, records show.
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