East L.A. Fatal Shooting is Deputy’s 7th Shooting

By City News Service

A Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputy twice removed from patrol duty after he was involved in his fifth and sixth shootings was involved in a seventh shooting last week when he and a colleague shot and killed a suspect in East Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Times reported.

The deputy, Anthony Forlano, is an 18-year department veteran, and three of the shootings involved suspects who turned out to have been unarmed, according to The Times.

Forlano had been assigned to a desk job following his fifth deputy- involved shooting, on Aug. 1, 2008, and returned to patrol duty after a transfer to the Community Oriented Policing Services unit, according to a letter, cited by The Times, sent Wednesday to the county Board of Supervisors by the chief lawyer with the Office of Independent Review, which investigates deputy- and officer-involved shootings.

He was removed from patrol duty again after a sixth shooting, this one on Oct. 19, 2011, for which he was cited for “tactical deficiencies,” the letter from OIR Chief Attorney Michael Gennaco states.

Forlano was ordered returned to patrol duty by then-undersheriff Paul Tanaka — who retired earlier this year amid criticism of his handling of discipline in county jails — and is now campaigning to replace Sheriff Lee Baca. The deputy was working overtime for the sheriff’s East Los Angeles Station when the most recent shooting occurred, according to the letter.

“This case illustrates the need for more work to be done on developing formal processes to determine whether deputies who are involved in multiple shootings should be retained in field assignments,” Gennaco wrote.

“More importantly, once a determination has been reached to remove a deputy from the field because of multiple shootings or poor tactics, protocols should be developed so that any request to revisit that decision is thoughtful, deliberate, and well-considered, with personal involvement of the sheriff.”

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September 26, 2013  Copyright © 2012 Eastern Group Publications, Inc.

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