A former Inglewood police officer was charged Wednesday with child abuse and brandishing a gun at another motorist during a freeway confrontation last year, prosecutors said.
Officer Michael Lewis Robinson, 44, surrendered to the California Highway Patrol on Wednesday and was later released on $100,000 bail.
According to the prosecutor on the case, Robinson was off-duty and driving on the 405 Freeway with his children -- ages 6 and 11 -- when he allegedly flashed a firearm in a threatening manner at another driver. Prosecutors said the confrontation occurred March 31, 2008.
In addition to one count of brandishing a weapon and two counts of child abuse, Robinson was charged with one misdemeanor count of obstructing CHP officers. If convicted, Robinson faces a maximum of nine years in prison, according to the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office. He is scheduled to be arraigned May 15.
Police spokesman Lt. Mike McBride said Robinson has not been an employee of the department for about a month, but declined to give details, saying that he could not discuss personnel matters.
John Baca, president of the Inglewood police officers’ union, declined to discuss the case.
The 200-strong police force has been besieged in recent years by allegations that its officers used excessive force and shot at unarmed suspects. A Times investigation last December found that officers repeatedly resorted to physical or deadly force against suspects who were unarmed or accused of minor offenses. During a four-month period in 2008, Inglewood officers fatally shot four suspects -- three of whom were unarmed.
The U.S. Department of Justice last month announced that it was launching a civil rights inquiry into the department.--