LOS ANGELES (AP) — A veteran police detective was fired for giving an obscenity- and insult-filled rant during a training session, his attorney said Wednesday.
Police Chief Charlie Beck signed a termination order for Frank Lyga on Tuesday that became official when the paperwork was sent to the Police Commission, said Ira Salzman, Lyga’s attorney.
The detective “is no longer an LAPD employee,” Cmdr. Andrew Smith said.
Lyga worked in the narcotics division.
While giving a November training lecture, the detective — who is white — used expletives, called a black civil rights attorney an “ewok,” said a lieutenant was a “moron,” and said that a woman captain had been “swapped around a bunch of times.”
The remarks were recorded by another officer and Salzman said his client acknowledged making them during a disciplinary investigation.
Lyga also recalled shooting and killing a black fellow officer during an off-duty confrontation in 1997 and telling an attorney for the man’s family: “I could have killed a whole truckload of them, and I would have been happy doing it.”
Salzman said the remark didn’t refer to the man’s race, as some had suggested, and that Lyga meant that he would have shot anyone trying to kill him.
Lyga claimed he acted in fear of his life and Salzman said he was exonerated after an investigation.
The attorney said his client was fired before Salzman had a chance to file a plea for the lesser penalty of suspension, based on Lyga’s long service and the fact that the detective had expressed remorse for his remarks.
“No officer deserves to be treated that way,” especially one with 28 years on the force, Salzman said, adding that he will now consider options such as a lawsuit.