Javier Ovando, a 19-year-old man from Honduras, became a central element to the LAPD Rampart Scandal of the late-1990’s. At the time, Ovando was a member of the 18th Street Gang, and on October 12, 1996, corrupt Rampart Officers Nino Durden and Rafael Perez entered Ovando’s apartment, shot him (leading to paralysis from the waist down), planted a weapon on him, then claimed he fired at them first. Ovando was sentenced to 23 years in prison because of the officers’ testimony. However, when the Rampart Scandal went into full-swing and Officer Perez recanted his testimony, Ovando was released after two-and-a-half years behind bars. Ovando then sued the LAPD, receiving a $15 million settlement, the largest ever given out by the city of Los Angeles for police misconduct.
Los Angeles, California
October 12, 1996