Monday, November 25, 2002
City to Pay $300,000 to Settle Allegations That Police Planted Drugs, Gun
By a MetNews Staff Writer
The City Council has voted to pay $300,000 to a man who alleged that LAPD Rampart Division officers framed him twice out of personal animosity.
The council voted last Tuesday to follow the city attorney’s recommendation to settle with Jorge Sisco-Aguilar.
Sisco-Aguilar alleged that LAPD officers Paul Harper, Mark Wilbur, Michael Montoya, Alfonso Guerrero, George Villegas and others conspired to frame him for illegal firearms possession and cocaine possession.
Sisco-Aguilar alleged that it was the second time officers set him up. In his complaint, he said he was arrested, framed and convicted for firearms possession in 1991 by some of the same officers. He was released in 1997, at which time he said the officers conspired to frame him and put him back into prison.
He said several officers arrested him without cause on private property, then planted drugs and a firearm on him in order to be able to charge him with possession of those items.
In support of those allegations, he said, Harper and Wilbur filed false police reports and lied in court to obtain Sisco-Aguilar’s conviction for being an illegal alien in possession of a firearm.
Sisco-Aguilar later obtained a writ of habeas corpus and was released from prison; he filed the lawsuit on Dec. 8, 2000.
The council’s Budget and Finance Committee recommended settling another police misconduct suit for an undisclosed amount. Cecil Miller said he was beaten by LAPD officers Doug Gallick and Louis Vince on Aug. 4, 2000.
According to the complaint, Miller was driving at the corner of Pico and Roxbury when he had to make an illegal turn to avoid an accident. A police officer down the street flagged him down and asked why he had made that turn. In the course of the conversation, Miller asked if he could move his vehicle over to the curb, because his family, all of whom were in the car, were endangered by being parked in the middle of the street. After some resistance, the officer let Miller move his car, but then claimed Miller had run over his foot.
Miller apologized, but the officer became angry and demanded that Miller get out of the car. Upon exiting the car, Miller apologized again and said he didn’t think the aggression was necessary, at which time the officers began beating Miller. A passer-by who saw the incident became alarmed and pleaded with the officers not to hurt him, at which time she was hit in the face by the officers.
Miller was charged with assaulting a police officer, pled not guilty and was acquitted. He filed his lawsuit on July 2, 2002.
Miller’s lawsuit is scheduled for consideration by the City Council at tomorrow’s meeting.
Copyright 2002, Metropolitan News Company