LAPD Classify Felony Crimes As Misdemeanors

Once police had Nathan Hunter in handcuffs, they tended to his wife.

She was covered in blood. She told the officers Hunter flew into a rage that night in February 2013 because she hadn’t bought him a Valentine’s Day gift. He beat and choked her before stabbing her in the face with a screwdriver and throwing her down a flight of stairs at their apartment in South L.A., according to police and court records.

Hunter, 55, was convicted of felony spousal abuse and sentenced to six years in prison.

Under FBI rules followed by police departments across the country, the beating should have been counted as an aggravated assault because Hunter used a weapon and caused serious injuries.

That’s not what happened. The Los Angeles Police Department classified it as a simple assault — a minor offense not included in the city’s official tally of serious crimes.

It was no isolated case. The LAPD misclassified nearly 1,200 violent crimes during a one-year span ending in September 2013, including hundreds of stabbings, beatings and robberies, a Times investigation found.

The incidents were recorded as minor offenses and as a result did not appear in the LAPD’s published statistics on serious crime that officials and the public use to judge the department’s performance. Continue