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LAPD Honcho Accused of Stalking Officer With AirTag

Al Labrada, assistant chief in department, on leave after allegations of tracking officer with Apple AirTag
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 20, 2023 8:21 AM CDT
One of LAPD's Top Brass on Leave Amid Stalking Claim
In this illustration, the AirTag tracking device is introduced during a virtual event held to announce new Apple products on April 20, 2021.   (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File)

A top-level official with the LAPD who's been there for three decades is now on administrative leave after allegations of stalking a co-worker. Per the Los Angeles Times, Chief Michel Moore made the announcement about Al Labrada, one of his three assistant chiefs, during a Tuesday gathering of the department's Board of Police Commissioners. Labrada, the highest-ranking Latino at the LAPD and a whispered potential successor to Moore, was the subject of a police report in Ontario, California, that accused him of using an Apple AirTag to track an LAPD officer with whom he allegedly had a romantic relationship.

That officer, who filed the Ontario report on Sept. 7, says she discovered the device, which is about the size of a quarter, in a waterproof protective case in her vehicle, per KTLA. The AirTag was tied back to Labrada's city-issued cellphone. The woman also informed internal affairs and the LAPD's inspector general about her discovery. Sources say that once an LAPD probe was launched, Labrada's phone was seized, per the Times.

Labrada is refuting the accusations. "We wish to jointly clarify that, in our opinion, what has been reported in the media thus far is false, as to the stalking allegations," one Labrada lawyer says in a statement, noting that the administrative leave is simply "standard procedure" as the investigation continues. "The relationship and circumstances have also been mischaracterized." Another of Labrada's attorneys calls him "a really good man" who "loves his kids, he loves his mom."

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Moore, for his part, says the LAPD is taking the case "very seriously" and promises to keep cooperating with an outside investigation, in addition to the internal one. "That means consequences should these allegations prove to be true," he noted Tuesday, calling the accusations "deeply troubling," per the New York Post. (More LAPD stories.)

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