LAPD detective Frank Lyga secretly recorded talking about killing black officer and criticizing the department

By Stefani Camille Staff Writer
June 13, 2014

Update: Interview with Brian Bentley, Kevin Gaines’ former partner, June 24, 2014

In March 1997, LAPD undercover detective Frank Lyga, shot and killed fellow LAPD Rampart CRASH officer Kevin Gaines in what was described as a “road rage” incident. According to Lyga, Gaines, who was not in uniform was acting aggressively towards Lyga in traffic and at the red light, Lyga pulled his weapon and killed Gaines.

An audiotape, that was surreptitiously recorded during an LAPD training class, has captured Lyga discussing his role in the killing of officer Gaines. Lyga, who is still employed by the LAPD, seems angry about the incident that occurred 17-years ago, where he killed a black LAPD officer, Kevin Gaines, that he thought was a gang member. He also criticizes attorneys who worked on the investigation and current LAPD officers.

Secretly taped lecture: Full 26 minute version

The 1997 incident started when the two officers were driving on Ventura Blvd in the San Fernando Valley. Lyga testified that Gaines pulled his green SUV up to his truck and a verbal confrontation occurred between the two. According to Lyga, Gaines displayed gang signs at him as the “road rage” continued and then Gaines followed Lyga, brandishing a handgun.

Lyga took out his gun and called for backup where he can be heard on police recordings saying, “Hey, I got a problem. I’ve got a black guy in a green Jeep coming up here! He’s got a gun!” Moments later, Lyga, who is white, fired twice killing Gaines. Lyga appeared before the shooting board in 1997, which reviewed the evidence and a 3D recreation, and then LAPD chief Bernard Parks reported that the shooting was within department policy.

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On the recent recording, from earlier this year, Lyga stated that he had no regrets killing LAPD Officer Gaines and that his only regret was that Gaines was alone in the truck at the time and that he could have killed a “whole truck load of them.” He continued to say that he would have been happy to kill more of them. Back in 1997, some in the LAPD accused Lyga of being racist, and he was investigated by internal affairs for several months.

The LAPD has not made any official statement about Lyga’s recent rant where he criticizes civil rights attorney Carl Douglas, Kevin Gaines’ former partner Derwin Henderson, defense attorney Johnny Cochran, current LAPD Lt. Paul Vernon, current LAPD Captain Lillian Carranza, unnamed black female LAPD Internal Affairs officer, and current assistant chief Earl Paysinger.

Posted by on Jun 13 2014. Filed under Features, Good Cop / Bad Cop, News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

13 Comments for “LAPD detective Frank Lyga secretly recorded talking about killing black officer and criticizing the department”

  1. Victor Salas

    This guy, Frank Lyga sounds like a racist. Is it just me, or does anyone see this?

  2. Freddie Crenshaw


    I personally believe Detective Lyga is referring to being able to ki*l a whole truck full of corrupt, gang related police officers such as Kevin Gaines. In the police report after the shooting, including Detective Russell Poole’s contribution to the book Labyrinth, it’s clear that Gaines was gang related. No officer should ever blankociate with known gang members (Death Row bloods) and this was a clear incident in which one officer (Gaines) thought he was above the law off duty and got what was coming to him (Lyga’s bullet).

    Nothing should happen to Detective Lyga. He did what anyone in their right mind would do when you’re confronted with an aggressive, armed motorist who is threatening your life; defend yourself.

    I wish he would have ki*led a truck full of them.

    • Arthur

      what a shame that people cannot believe the truth I have been in the presence of this so called police officer when he was out patrolling the streets and I want for myself can vouch for his racism in the way that I was treated by you I was a young at the present time abetting counter and I had never been in any trouble before and not only was I disrespected and ridiculed by this so called public servants but also I was called a little munkee disrespected in the United States Navy ROTC uniform my cover was knocked off my head by this so-called officer and he told me as a child that when I grew up I would never be an officer will let me tell you I’ve grown up to not only be an officer but a lieutenant commander Mr racist

    • Jasson William

      If Lyga was referring to kil#i*gg a whole truck full of corrupt, gang related police officers, then why didn’t he say so? He could have easily said, I could have ki*led a truck full of corrupt, gang related police officer if they would have threaten my life. Secondly, if Death Row Records was an inappropriate place for police officers to work, why did the LAPD grant work permits for them to work there? I believe that Lyga is a racist and knew Gaines before the shooting.

    • Nikkie

      Stefani your probably the most stupidest person I know for saying something awful like that. Gaines was not in a gang and Lyga’s comment was racist. Your so stupid for even thinking that he was talking about gang members. I see you think like an ignorant teenager. You don’t look at all the evidence just the little picture. Lyga is a sick man!! How can someone ki*l someone and not feel ashamed of his act. That “I thought he was a gang member” is a load of sh*% he is trying to cover his blank. Lyga disgust me!

      Stefani for you to say you wish he ki*led a truck load of them shows how sick you are. You should get a life and stop listening to what other people say and learn something. Gang members are not gonna be police officers at all. Get smart Stefani.

    • John Scott

      what was corrupt about Kevin Gaines? And I dont believe that Russell Poole is all that credible either.

  3. Eastlos

    @Freddie Crenshaw police officers blankociate with gang members often, and there were about 100 police officers who worked security for death row records. It depends on the nature of that relationship, and there is no evidence that Kevin Gaines was involved in any criminal activity. So why did Frank Lyga shoot Gaines? An officer he already knew?

  4. Nikkie

    @Freddie Crenshaw
    Your sick just like Lyga is this is disgusting how you and Lyga think its ok to ki*l.
    Gaines was a human being just like the rest of us. Do you think its ok for someone to ki*l just by their accusations? That’s wrong! You need to grow up and look at the bigger picture of things. Cops get away with so much just because their cops. Their should be justice for officer Gaines. Lyga should rot in jail for murdering a citizen. Lyga disgust me and Freddie you disgust me to! How in the world could yall think its right to ki*l someone. What is wrong with you?! Gaines didn’t try kil#i*gg Lyga! Lyga is a racist piece of sh*% that should be fired and sent to jail.

  5. Marjorie

    I was bullied, harblanked and stolen from. When I finally made a recording of fellow employees to prove it, I was fired. Who made the “recording” and how did they not get in trouble? Kudos to them!

  6. Freddie Crenshaw

    For those who do not know, any law enforcement officer in California is mandated by CA POST regulations to not knowingly blankociate with any felon, for any reason other than to carry out their duties as an officer.

    The LAPD grants individuals permission to work off duty gigs to make extra money, but they’d never flat out allow you to work for corrupt organizations such as the now defunct Death Row Records.

    When Bernard Parks was head of Internal Affairs, the LAPD as a whole was a rat infested sh*% hole. Corrupt officers such as Gaines, who knowingly blankociated with felons while working off duty for Death Row, should be at the very least seen as questionable people. You take an oath of office for a reason and you don’t start sticking your d#$k inside your boss’s ex wife (Suge’s ex).

    Gaines off duty behavior was questionable to say the least. Poole had an impeccable record as a patrol officer and a detective. There’s a reason he made Robbery Homicide so fast and there’s a reason Gaines is dead.

    Both equally talented at What they dedicated themselves to. I don’t condone murder, but Gaines was just a f#@$king dumb blank hot headed officer who got what was coming to him.

    Don’t turn this into a race card type of deal, people. Let’s keep race out of this for once, unless you actually believe Cochran upheld his civil duties as a licensed law professional.

    • Boom Early

      Crenshaw since i actually knew both men I have the right to speak. First off Kevin did not work for Death Row. its makes me think how naive people are. Why would a man hire someone who is having a relationship with his wife. Lastly it makes me sick in a gang. Where does that come from.

    • Phoenix Star, Esq

      @Freddie Crenshaw Whats does “race card” actually mean? It is not unusual to believe that Frank Lyga, considered Gaines’ race before he shot him, since he already had a reputation of not liking BLACK PEOPLE / OFFICERS.

      I have heard Russell Poole in several interviews and he truly sounds like an idiot. He did not have an impeccable record and he does not sound credible.

      POST are standards, and not all police departments go by POST standards 100 percent. Some of them are required while some are recommended or voluntary. During Summer Night Lights, LAPD officers spend a lot of time with felons. Additionally, where you are doing security work, you are not spending time “with anyone”, you are working. Who are you accusing Kevin Gaines was socializing with??????

      You have no specifics of Kevin Gaines’ off or on duty behavior that would be considered CORRUPT.”

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