Greg Kading: The Internal Affairs Report that Cleared the Tupac and Biggie Cop from Wrongdoing in the George Torres Case
In 2009, after eliciting confessions implicating Sean Combs in Shakur's death and Suge Knight in Smalls' killing, Kading was removed from the task force investigating the murders.
The reason, says Kading, is that LAPD was conducting an Internal Affairs investigation into allegations that Kading made false statements on an affidavit and manipulated witnesses to get them to testify in federal court against George Torres, Numero Uno supermarket magnate and an alleged drug kingpin.
In September 2009, federal judge Stephen Wilson overturned convictions against Torres and chastised both the prosecution and Kading. In April 2010, LAPD completed its probe. Kading was not penalized for any of his actions.
According to the April 2010 Internal Affairs report reviewed by LA Weekly, "At the center of the alleged misconduct were issues of discovery relating to Kading's contact and handling of several government witnesses."
However, the report states, "Because the alleged misconduct was made toward the government's prosecution team and not Kading, no allegation was formed."
The report then details the allegations and its findings:
The outrageous government misconduct referred to in [Wilson's] motion stems from discovery items not provided to the defense by the government prosecutors. [Torres'] attorneys had demanded recordings of the phone conversations between Kading and two incarcerated government witnesses. The government advised the defense that no such recordings existed, having already been destroyed or discarded by the Board of Prisons. The defense however was able to locate several recordings of the telephone conversations, which the government did not know existed.
The recordings were reviewed in relation to this personnel complaint investigation for misconduct by Kading in the handling of the witnesses. No violation of policy was discovered.
According to Assistant United States Attorney Tim Searight, Kading provided him with the original, un-redacted logs. Searight's office redacted the logs prior to providing them to the defense.
In [a] Los Angeles Times article ... reporter Scott Glover wrote that the tapes finally turned over to the defense "contained information that was potentially beneficial to the defense." Although these tapes were between Kading and government witnesses, the content of the tapes was not an issue. The government sought dismissal of the charges because the tapes should have been provided to the defense as discovery material.
[Kading] stated that ... a government witness sent his son a cigarette lighter as a gift upon learning that Kading's son joined the United States Marine Corps. The lighter was a Zippo brand lighter, which [the witness] carried with him during World War II. Kading offered no consideration or favor in return for the gift. This investigation revealed that the gift did not meet the definition of a gratuity and therefore, no allegation of misconduct was formed.
In fact, LAPD only formed an allegation of misconduct against Kading for apparently putting false information down on an affidavit for a search warrant.
According to the April Internal Affairs report, Judge Wilson's order "made reference to possible false statements made by Kading, as well as exculpatory statements that had been omitted by him in the affidavit. [Wilson] came to [his] decision to suppress the evidence because when the false statements were eliminated ... the probable cause was not sufficient to seize the items of evidence."
Wilson stated that Kading displayed a "reckless disregard for the truth."
However, the Internal Affairs report states, "Judge Wilson was clear in the difference between reckless with the truth and being truthful. On July 29, 2009, during a hearing on this case, Wilson stated, 'I never made a finding that Kading was untruthful. I said that he was in reckless disregard of the truth. That's different.'"
Furthermore, according to the report, Wilson said, "Although the court found that Detective Kading had misquoted certain portions of wiretap calls, the Court never found that Detective Kading was intentionally lying."
Indeed, Internal Affairs did find that Kading made errors on the affidavit when quoting people from a taped conversation, such as using the word "policy" when the correct word was "procedure," and using the word "and" when it should have been the word "so."
Kading admitted that he made the mistakes and relied on his memory to write the affidavit instead of verifying the quotes by listening to the taped conversation.
Nevertheless, Internal Affairs ultimately ruled that, "There is absolutely no evidence in this investigation to show that Kading intentionally or maliciously misrepresented material facts."