A recording—allegedly of Los Angeles Police Department Detective Frank Lyga expressing zero remorse for shooting an off-duty black officer during a 1997 confrontation—has surfaced. In it Lyga, who is white, reportedly says that he regretted that there was only one person in the vehicle when the gunfire erupted, LA Weekly reports.
“I could have killed a whole truckload of ’em,” Lyga allegedly says at the end of the video.
According to the news site, the recording was taken during a talk Lyga gave to officers taking “in-service training” last November at the Los Angeles Police Academy.
The March 1997 incident at the center of the controversy began while Lyga was involved in a stakeout. The plainclothes officer got into a road incident with off-duty cop Kevin Gaines, during which Gaines allegedly threatened to “cap his ass.” That was when Lyga fired his service gun, killing Gaines.
“ … This guy had ‘I’m a gang member’ written all over him,” Lyga said in the days after the shooting, LA Weekly notes.
The subsequent investigation exonerated Lyga, who remains on the force to this day. Gaines’ family sued for the shooting, asking for $25 million, but eventually settled for $250,000.
Read more at LA Weekly.