New LAPD union head was once called ‘problem officer’ in report following Rodney King beating
The newly elected head of the Los Angeles Police Protective League, representing close to 10,000 law enforcement officers, was once listed as a “problem officer” in a 1991 report issued by a blue ribbon committee looking into police abuses in the wake of the Rodney King beating, reports the LA Times.
Lt. Craig Lally, a 33-year veteran of the LAPD, was elected to head the union on Dec. 29, taking over for current president, Tyler Izen, who is retiring from the force after 30 years.
In 1991, then-sergeant Lally was included in a list of 44 LAPD officers noted as “problem officers,” by the Christopher Commission, tasked with reviewing reports of brutality by members of the force. The list, according to the commission, was meant to illustrate “the problem of excessive force in the LAPD.”
According to Lally, he was included on the list due to allegations of misconduct made against him, noting that none of the accusations held up following department investigations. Lally contested his inclusion on the list at the time after his name was published by the LA Times.
Lally saved most of his ire for police unions officials at that time, saying they failed to stand up for their members.
“So many of us were hung out to dry. They did virtually nothing for us,” Lally said of the league’s leaders. “I wanted to change what goes on here.”
The new union head comes in at a tumultuous time for the union which has, so far, failed to reach agreement with the city on a new one-year contract. Lally also wants to change how the department disciplines officers, calling the current policies “a joke.”
Lally becomes the new face for LA’s police union at a time when other police union heads have become national figures while defending officers accused of police brutality.
Recently New York City’s Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association head, Patrick Lynch, accused New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio of having “blood on his hands,” following the recent shooting of two police officers in Brooklyn.
Cleveland Police union head Jeffrey Follmer defended the police officer who shot and killed 12-year-old Tamir Rice while holding a toy gun, calling the shooting “justified.”