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Detective Frank Lyga was caught on tape telling another officer that not only did he have “no regrets” for kιlling a black off duty officer, but he would liked “to have killed a whole truckload of them,” reports CBS Los Angeles.
Lyga, 57, is currently on paid leave after complaints by another officer sparked an investigation. The officer who recorded Lyga’s inflammatory remarks was African-American.
Lyga gunned down off duty officer Kevin Gaines, but was not punished because Lyga claimed Gaines had threαtened him. Lyga said Gaines pulled a gun on him during a traffic dispute and threatened to kιll him. Lyga, claiming he feared for his life, fired twice at Gaines, kιlling him.
“I said, ‘No, I regret he was alone in the truck at the time,'” Lyga reportedly said during the recording. “I could have kιlled a whole truckload of them and I would have been happy doing so.”
Lyga’s attorney, Ira Salzman, says his client has a prestigious record.
“Frank Lyga has been an outstanding officer,” Salzman said. “He is a well-respected expert in the field. Seventeen years ago he was correctly cleared of any wrongdoing as he reacted appropriately and correctly. I would simply ask that his outstanding background be considered before conclusions are reached.”
According to the Los Angeles Times, the Los Angeles Police Protective League says Lyga’s comments are being taken out of context.
“When one listens to the tape in context, it is clear that Detective Lyga was not celebrating the kιlling of anybody,” the league said. “Although we do not support the denigration of any person, or group of persons, if there is a news interest here, it is far larger than improper remarks by a detective who 17 years later is still being asked about an experience he lived through that would deeply affect any of us.”