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LAPD Rookie Accesses Murder Witness Info

By Wyatt Earp | November 17, 2010

Just when you thought the bad cops were localized to Philadelphia and Chicago.

A rookie Los Angeles police officer has resigned amid allegations he illegally tapped into a law enforcement computer on behalf of a gang member who was recently convicted of murder.

The officer, Gabriel Morales, 25, was seeking information on two key witnesses who testified at the gang member’s murder trial, according to court records. Morales had been dating the gang member’s sister for several years. The law enforcement database that police say Morales accessed contains a wide array of personal information on people, including home addresses. Authorities said he made printouts of the information he found.

As bad as this story is, the next line is the one that really angered me.

The allegations against Morales underscore the predicament of police officers when they feel forced to choose between their oath to uphold the law and their allegiance to friends and family, Los Angeles Police Department officials said. (H/TRealwest)

Maybe I am just naive, but is this a rampant problem amongst the people in my profession? I mean, I am not a writer for the vaunted Los Angeles Times, but I think I have some experience in this venue, what with sixteen years of service. And in those sixteen years, I can count on one hand the amount of times I witnessed (or even heard about) someone in my district/division trying to do something illegal to help a family member or friend.

In fact, every time an officer has called my division saying they had a family member or friend of a detective on a car stop, the detective has always said, “Do what you have to do.” If that officer decided to not give the person a ticket, that’s on them. We never tell someone, “Let them go.”

Why do we do that? Because it gives the appearance of impropriety, and we have a bad enough reputation as it is.

Topics: The Job | 16 Comments »

16 Responses to “LAPD Rookie Accesses Murder Witness Info”

  1. Sally Anne Says:
    November 17th, 2010 at 8:19 am

    “forced to choose between their oath to uphold the law and their allegiance to friends and family”

    Oh, bullshit! The choice is made when you take the oath, and if you can’t stick to it, get the hell off the force, losers. >_< Man, I hate bad cops… grrr.

  2. Old NFO Says:
    November 17th, 2010 at 8:50 am

    One has to wonder if he was an associate gang member, kept clean and placed in the LAPD… And Hispanics DO believe blood is the overarching responsibility, so I’d bet he didn’t see ANYTHING wrong with what he did…

  3. Watuschski Says:
    November 17th, 2010 at 10:37 am

    Chalk up another big one for the demokratz’ political and multi-culturally correct bullshit!

  4. proof Says:
    November 17th, 2010 at 11:11 am

    When forced to choose between upholding journalistic integrity and honoring those presidents who have passed before us, commemorated with their pictures on small slips of paper, the LA Times chooses…

  5. Dr. Evil Says:
    November 17th, 2010 at 11:12 am

    absolute bull crapola! Once you take that oath to serve and protect your personal feelings and opinions mean squat!

    I apologize to any law enforcement agents who may take offense to that comment, but let’s face reality: I’m right. it stinks, but if I was engaging in illegal activity in front of Wyatt I would expect him to slap the metal bracelets on me. And maybe kick me around a little for being such a knucklehead.

    Wyatt, don’t take that as an invitation though…unless of course you buy me dinner first…maybe a few drinks…

  6. Wes S. Says:
    November 17th, 2010 at 11:32 am


    So who the hell is doing background checks for the LAPD? And you would have thought their Internal Affairs division would have found it strange that he was dating a gangbanger’s sister, for that matter…

    Glad I live in Kansas City. The worst thing our cops have done lately is shooting up somebody’s broken-down van after mistaking backfires for gunshots.

    The officers managed to shoot out the windows of their own squad car while “returning fire,” too…although they at least missed the driver of the van.

  7. Wyatt Earp Says:
    November 17th, 2010 at 12:46 pm

    Sally Anne – That’s why it’s called an oath. Supposed to mean something when you take it.

    Old NFO – I think that’s exactly what happened here. He got past the lax screening.

    Watuschskie – Sadly, Philly has the same problem.

    Proof – . . . wrongly. Every time.

    Dr. Evil – Oh don’t worry; I’m looking forward to kicking your ass around Randal’s house if you step out of line. :)

    Wes S. – We have an officer in my division who was just hired a year or so ago. He was a thug all his life, and has an “FTP” tattoo on his arm.

    (For those not in the know, “FTP” is “F**k The Police.”)

    He gets shunned when he comes into our office.

  8. Vince Lyons Says:
    November 17th, 2010 at 12:53 pm

    If one were to read the pages of the PAFOA forum it would be easy to think that Philly has a monopoly on bad cops.

    That’s far from reality though, check out this link sometime:

    You can see that some incidents are silly and blown out of proportion but too many are sad but true.

  9. Ingineer66 Says:
    November 17th, 2010 at 1:34 pm

    Wow. This story is amazing to me. But what is more amazing is your tattoo story. That would be like a synagogue hiring a guy with a swastika tattoo. He could get it removed or at least have it made into something else. What a joke.

  10. Uncle Ray Says:
    November 17th, 2010 at 4:59 pm

    Hey Wyatt! Can I join in on the ass-kickin’ of Dr. Evil?

  11. hutch1200 Says:
    November 17th, 2010 at 5:59 pm

    I ride w/ an FBI agent, retired DEA, asst DA and the local Chief. The other 90% of the crew have very shady (mostly non violent, except for bar fights) past misdeeds. None of us even drink these days. We laugh now, but when sharing both groups past mistakes, and the LEOs made a few too, it is always understood that if it happened today, all bets are off. There is just NO grey area w/these guys at all. BTW the DEA guy tried to slow down a heroin shipment in Philly. He figured a little C4 on the rear axle would break it just enough. Blew the sucker in half! Good times..for all.

  12. 1oldleg Says:
    November 17th, 2010 at 8:38 pm

    Es La Raza!
    Por La Cucarachas!
    Senor Morales esta pendejo!

    Mr. Morales forgot the first rule of infiltration… Stay invisible.

  13. Deputy Polarbear Says:
    November 18th, 2010 at 12:42 am

    This is what happens when you relax hiring standards just to get the number you need.

    We (LASD) have had more than a few winners that got hired in the last hiring push when we hired about 2500-3000 over a 3 year period…..including the two that are about to go to state prison for bringing dope into one of our custody facilities.

  14. Wes S. Says:
    November 18th, 2010 at 12:50 am

    *reads Wyatt’s tattoo story*

    *facepalms again*

  15. realwest Says:
    November 18th, 2010 at 12:52 am

    Howdy Wyatt – thanks for the h/t – but I agree with those who’ve said “Once you take the oath………..”. I do NOT WANT TO HEAR that because you or one of your friends or relatives runs with bad guys, that you feel obligated to help them out (illegally).
    They know you’re a cop and ought to either respect the fact that they are putting you in a very bad position by asking for that kind of “assistance” or that perhaps maybe YOU RAN with them and haven’t yet given up your gang ways – Oath or no Oath. Would love to know how the hell the cop with the FTP tat got on the Force in the first damn place. And why he’s still on it.

  16. Fenway_Nation Says:
    November 18th, 2010 at 4:22 am

    The allegations against Morales underscore the predicament of police officers when they feel forced to choose between their oath to uphold the law and their allegiance to friends and family Los Angeles Police Department officials said.


    Who exactly put a gun to Morales’ noggin and forced him to choose?

    If I were trying to write an article where I was trying to absolve Morales of any culpabitlity for his actions, I’m not usre I wold’ve written it much differently..