HOLLYWOOD HILLS—On Monday, March 20, LAPD Officer Alejandro Castillo, 50, was found guilty of perjury and falsifying a report regarding a motorist’s alleged unsafe driving under the influence investigation three years ago. The jury took two hours to deliberate. Both charges are classified as felonies and Castillo is scheduled to be back in court for sentencing on May 12. He is facing a maximum of four years and eight months in prison.
LAPD Internal Affairs Division launched an investigation in 2021 after unspecified concerns were identified by the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office. They reviewed video from the body camera of Castillo and discovered that his written report was inconsistent with what was found on tape.
On October 18, 2019, Castillo stopped a driver in the Hollywood area for allegedly making an unsafe U-turn. He gave the driver a sobriety test and arrested him for a DUI. When he filed the police report, he wrote that the driver made an unsafe left turn in front of oncoming traffic that nearly caused an accident. His body camera revealed that the driver waited for all vehicles to pass before making a left turn. Castillo filed a false declaration under penalty of perjury along with the falsified report.
“Investigators working in partnership with the Justice System Integrity Division of the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office established probable cause to believe that the officer’s BWV footage was inconsistent with the written report,” stated the LAPD.
“The allegations of an officer falsifying a police report are extremely troubling and there must be accountability,” LAPD Chief Michel Moore in a statement after the officer’s arrest.
DUI charges were not filed against the driver as a result of the investigation.
“When an officer lies in the course of their investigation it can have devastating consequences including wrongful incarceration and sometimes wrongful convictions,” said District Attorney George Gascón. “This is why my office takes perjury by law enforcement very seriously. We cannot have the people we entrusted to take away a person’s liberty lying in their official capacity. I am pleased that the jury saw the injustice in this case and the officer will be held accountable for his actions. I am also thankful for the hard work of the trial team who secured a victory in this case.”
According to research, 2,400 convictions of defendants who were later found innocent over a 30-year period found that 35 percent of those cases involved some type of misconduct by police. More than half – 54 percent – involved misconduct by police or prosecutors.
Since 2019, Castillo has been on administrative leave. He is a 13-year veteran of the LAPD.