LAPD probes video of song mocking Michael Brown's death at party for ex-cops
The Los Angeles Police Department has launched an investigation into video footage from a gathering of retired police officers that shows the performance of a song mocking the shooting death of Michael Brown.
Investigators are looking into whether any current LAPD officers attended the Dec. 15 party, which was thrown by a retired LAPD official at an Elks Lodge in Glendale.
"Simply being present at an event obviously does not constitute misconduct," said LAPD officer Drake Madison.
Chief Charlie Beck weighed in on Twitter:
In a written statement, the LAPD echoed Beck's sentiments and called the performance "stunningly offensive and absurd," while noting that it was not a department-sponsored event. Madison said the song was performed by a former detective who retired from the force in 2007. The department does not believe that the event raised any money for the LAPD.
Video of the performance was first published by TMZ(warning: the video contains language that some may find offensive):
The Los Angeles Times reports that the song, a parody of "Bad, Bad Leroy Brown" by Jim Croce, includes the following lyrics:A lodge trustee confirmed to the Glendale News-Press that longtime Elks member Gary Fishell sang the parody of “Bad, Bad Leroy Brown”: Stephens sent out a statement apologizing for the incident, according to the LA Weekly: You can read the full statement at the Weekly's website.
Brown, an unarmed teenager, was gunned down by a police officer in Ferguson, Mo., in August. In November, a grand jury declined to bring charges against Darren Wilson, the officer who shot him to death.
This story has been updated.