News Releases

July 10, 2020: Three LAPD Officers Charged With Conspiracy, Falsifying Information

Contact: 
Greg Risling, Assistant Media Chief
(213) 257-2000

Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey announced today that three Los Angeles Police Department officers have been charged in a 59-count complaint for allegedly falsifying records that claimed people they had stopped were gang members or associates.

Case BA488467 was filed for warrant late yesterday against Braxton Shaw (dob 3/15/83), Michael Coblentz (dob 7/18/77) and Nicolas Martinez (dob 8/1/83) for one count each of conspiracy to obstruct justice and multiple counts of filing a false police report and preparing false documentary evidence.

Arraignment will be scheduled for a later date.

The three defendants, who were assigned at the time to LAPD’s Metro Division, are accused of falsifying field interview cards used by officers to conduct interviews while they are on duty.

The cards contained false information and misidentified dozens of people as gang members. Some of the false information contained in the cards was used to wrongfully enter individuals into a state gang database, prosecutors said.

In some instances, the defendants are accused of writing on the card that a person admitted to being a gang member even though body-worn camera video showed the defendants never asked the individual about their gang membership, prosecutors said.

In other instances, the defendants allegedly wrote on the card that a person admitted to being a gang member despite the fact the person interviewed denied a gang affiliation.

Shaw is accused of falsifying 43 field interview cards. Coblentz is accused of falsifying seven field interview cards and Martinez is accused of falsifying two cards.

If convicted as charged, Shaw faces up to 31 years and eight months in county jail, while Coblentz faces up to seven years and eight months in jail and Martinez faces up to four years and four months in jail.

In response to this ongoing investigation, District Attorney Lacey has directed her prosecutors to corroborate any information derived from field interview cards with other available evidence, including video from body-worn cameras, in an effort to ensure the accuracy of the information.

Attorneys from the Justice System Integrity Division are prosecuting the case.

The case remains under investigation by the Los Angeles Police Department.