A high-ranking LAPD official, Al Labrada, has been placed on administrative leave following allegations of stalking, according to Chief Michel Moore. Labrada, one of three assistant chiefs reporting to Moore, is the subject of an Ontario police report that claims he used an Apple AirTag to track the movements of an LAPD police officer he was romantically involved with. The officer who made the report discovered the AirTag among her possessions.
Upon learning of the allegations, the LAPD launched an internal investigation and confiscated Labrada’s city-issued phone. Chief Moore expressed the seriousness with which the department is treating the allegations and stated that consequences would follow if they are proven true.
The LAPD’s oversight body, the Board of Police Commissioners, was informed of Labrada’s administrative leave during their meeting. Commission President Erroll Southers has ordered the inspector general’s office to monitor the LAPD’s investigation for objectivity and impartiality. Labrada has denied the allegations and is considering legal action. His civil attorney, Jeremy Tissot, stated that the reported stalking allegations are false and mischaracterized. Labrada has also hired Andrew Leventhal for potential criminal proceedings.
Labrada’s absence from command has been announced in an email to all department personnel. Deputy Chief David Kowalski will assume leadership of the Office of Special Operations during Labrada’s absence.
Labrada’s placement on administrative leave is a significant development, as he was considered a potential internal candidate to replace Chief Moore. Labrada is the highest-ranking Latino in the LAPD and a member of the Latin American Law Enforcement Association.
This is not the first time a high-ranking LAPD official has left their post amidst allegations of misconduct. In 2018, Assistant Chief Jorge Villegas retired abruptly after being involved in an improper sexual relationship with a subordinate.
Apple AirTags, introduced in 2021, have raised concerns among advocates for victims of domestic violence due to their potential for unauthorized monitoring.