New questions were raised today about how the Los Angeles Police Department classifies crimes and, by extension, the accuracy of official crime statistics.
The Los Angeles Times reviewed dozens of cases the LAPD Initially documented as serious but later downgraded to minor offenses. A third of the time, the decision to reclassify the incident was wrong, The Times concluded.
When presented with the findings, LAPD officials acknowledged the errors but offered no explanation for them.
“They should not have been reclassified,” Deputy Chief Kirk Albanese, who oversees the LAPD’s detective bureau and reviewed the Times’ analysis, told the newspaper. “They should have been left as they were.”
A Times investigation last summer found that the LAPD significantly understated the city’s true level of crime when it misclassified nearly 1,200 violent crimes from a recent one-year period ending in September 2013. In those cases, the missteps were made at the outset by station supervisors and clerks. But the new review involved cases that were downgraded from serious to minor crimes days or weeks after the crimes were initially recorded.