Javier Ovando

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Javier Francisco Ovando (born c. 1977), is a Honduran man who became a central figure in the LAPD Rampart Scandal when he was shot and framed by corrupt Rampart officers Rafael Pérez and Nino Durden. Ovando is an immigrant and a former member of the powerful 18th Street Gang. He is the recipient of the largest police misconduct settlement in Los Angeles history.[1]

Officers Durden and Pérez entered then 19-year old Ovando's apartment on 12 October 1996, and shot him, leaving him paralyzed.[2][3] According to their testimony later, they planted a gun on him and reported that the unarmed Ovando had fired on them first. Ovando, paralyzed from the waist down, was sentenced to 23 years in prison based on the officers' testimony.[1]

Release and settlement[edit]

On 16 September 1999, Ovando was released from prison after Perez recanted his earlier testimony. The District Attorney's office filed a writ of habeas corpus overturning Ovando's conviction. Ovando had spent two-and-a-half years incarcerated.[1]

On 21 November 2000, Ovando received a $15 million settlement, the largest police misconduct settlement in Los Angeles history.

Further arrests[edit]

Four months after his settlement, Ovando was arrested and charged in Nevada for possession and trafficking of drugs. A plea of not guilty was entered.[1]

In 2001, Ovando pleaded guilty to drug trafficking after 50 grams of cocaine and 37 grams of marijuana were found in his Cadillac Escalade and a handgun was found beneath the hood. On June 29, 2008, Ovando was arrested after allegedly leading police on an hour long chase that reached speeds of up to 90 mph on local streets and freeways. It is claimed that at one point Ovando tried to spit on an officer and grabbed one of the officer's fingers. He was arrested on suspicion of felony evading arrest, reckless driving and assault on a police officer. He was taken into custody but later was released after posting bail.[4]

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