LAPD detective Frank Lyga secretly recorded talking about killing black officer and criticizing the department
By Stefani Camille
Streetgangs.com 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.
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.