LAPD investigates whether spike in officer sick calls over July 4th weekend was an orchestrated protest

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Los Angeles Police Department officers are seen outside the agency’s downtown headquarters in this undated photo. (Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)

Los Angeles Police Department officers are seen outside the agency’s downtown headquarters in this undated photo. (Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)

An unsigned letter circulated among the Los Angeles Police Department rank and file last week, encouraging officers to call in sick to protect their own interests.

It had been been a month of upheaval for police, with unprecedented protests over police killings of Black people and the Los Angeles City Council agreeing to cut the LAPD’s budget by $150 million amid calls for sweeping reforms.

“They succeeded in defunding the police; what do you think is next? Our pay? Our benefits? Our pensions? You’re God Damn right all those things are in jeopardy now,” read the letter, which was obtained by The Times. “We have to send the city a clear message that we are not expendable and we are not going to take this crap anymore.”

Now, LAPD commanders are investigating whether an unusual spike in officers calling in sick over the July 4 weekend was the result of an orchestrated protest or labor action, which would be illegal. Sources in the department told The Times up to 300 officers called in sick in what many in the department suspect was a “Blue Flu.”

Read the full story on LATimes.com.

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