Former LAPD Officer calls for Frank Lyga investgation into Kevin Gaines killing

By Alex A. Alonso
June 24, 2014 | 11:51 p.m.

Former LAPD officer Brian Bentley

Former LAPD officer Brian Bentley

Earlier this month, former LAPD officer Brian Bentley, posted an audio file, that was surreptitiously recorded by an unidentified employee of the LAPD of current LAPD detective Frank Lyga. During a training session, Lyga was speaking to a room of 38 other LAPD employees when he took over the training session and started to talk about a 1997 incident when he shot and killed fellow LAPD officer Kevin Gaines.

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The official investigation into the cop-on-cop shooting was deemed a road rage incident that was investigated by then LAPD detective Russell Poole. He concluded that the two LAPD officers did not know each other and randomly confronted each other at the same intersection. Lyga was an on-duty undercover narcotics officers and Gaines was off duty and out of uniform when the two met up at a North Hollywood intersection. According to Lyga, Gaines was acting like a gang members and pulled his weapon, causing Lyga to draw his weapon firing two shots and killing him.

During the training session, Lyga who was scheduled as a guest speaker, ended up speaking for over an hour, and at least one officer present in the room, was offended by some of the statements Lyga was making. This unknown person filed an internal complaint following the proper LAPD channels, but after there was no action taken against Lyga, the audio file was given to Bentley, and after posting it online it made national news.

On the recent audio tape, Lyga, sounds very proud to have killed Officer Gaines and stated that his only regret was that the car Gaines was driving was not full because he would have been happy killing more of “them.” Bentley, who knew both Lyga and Gaines, believes that the investigation that cleared Lyga of killing Gaines in 1997 was not thorough, and that the LAPD deliberately smeared Gaines’ name only to clear Lyga from any wrong doing.

The public perception was that Gaines was a crooked cop because he worked security for hip-hop record label, Death Row, and was in a relationship with Suge Knight’s estranged wife, Sharitha Knight, but it was not uncommon for police officers within the LAPD to work security for Death Row. Bentley believes that an investigation into the Gaines shooting should be reopened in light of recent statements made by Lyga, which included disparaging remarks against LAPD command staff.

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