Two Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies pleaded not guilty Monday to charges alleging they filed a false report that prosecutors contend covered up one of the deputies allegedly using excessive force during an arrest about three years ago.
Woodrow Kim, 39, was charged Aug. 25 with one felony count each of filing a false report and assault under the color of authority, while Jonathan Miramontes, 30, was charged with one felony count of filing a false report.
Kim allegedly opened the driver’s side door of a patrol vehicle and knocked a man to the ground following a vehicle pursuit that ended in Ruben Salazar Park on Sept. 19, 2018, according to prosecutors.
Kim and Miramontes were responding to an assault with a deadly weapon call involving occupants in a black BMW who had allegedly threatened a motorist with a gun, according to the District Attorney’s Office.
“Peace officers must do their job lawfully and truthfully,” District Attorney George Gascón said in a statement announcing the case.
“There is no place in law enforcement for officers who use illegal force and then lie to cover up their crime or the crime of another officer,” the county’s top prosecutor said.
Kim’s attorney, Joshua Ritter, responded, “This is an absolute political spectacle. This is George Gascón following through on campaign promises he made. When he promised voters he was going to prosecute cops, this is what he’s doing on following through on that promise without any consideration to what is the just or right thing to do.”
Kim and Miramontes were relieved of duty Aug. 20, according to the sheriff’s department.
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