Officers suing LAPD awarded $2 million

April 12, 2011 at 12:51 PM

LOS ANGELES, April 12 (UPI) -- Two Los Angeles police officers who said superiors retaliated against them for complaining about alleged traffic ticket quotas have been awarded $2 million.

Veteran motorcycle officers Howard Chan and David Benioff sued the department in 2009, alleging they had been punished with bad performance reviews, threats of reassignment and other harassment after objecting to demands from commanding officers that they write a certain number of tickets each day, the Los Angeles Times reported Monday.

Under California law, ticket quotas are illegal since they can lead to officers writing spurious citations to meet a quota.

"We're very hopeful that this will put an end to fleecing motorists on the west side of Los Angeles," Benioff's attorney, Gregory Smith, said. "Quotas are a direct violation of the vehicle code, and this case was about these officers being asked to break the law."

City Councilman Dennis Zine, a former LAPD motorcycle sergeant, said the department should have settled the matter before it entered the court system.

"You can't violate the law to enforce the law," Zine said. "You can't mandate the number of tickets."

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