A veteran Long Beach police officer has been charged with possessing and distributing child pornography, authorities said.
Anthony Mark Brown, 56, was charged this week with three felony counts of distribution of child pornography and one felony count of possession of child or youth pornography, according to prosecutors. Brown was taken into custody while on duty last month before a search of his Lakewood home.
“Any case involving the exploitation of a child is extremely disturbing, but it is particularly alarming when it involves a law enforcement officer,” Los Angeles County Dist. Atty. George Gascón said. “When an officer violates their sworn oath to serve and protect the community, they will be held to account.”
Brown is accused of possessing and sending child pornography images through a social media site between March 2019 and April 2020, authorities said.
In May 2020, Long Beach police received a tip about a possible online crime against a child and immediately began investigating, officials said.
Following his arrest, the department announced Brown, a 26-year veteran of the force, was suspended without pay during the criminal and internal affairs investigations. Brown had been assigned to the Long Beach airport as part of its security detail. Neither Brown or his attorney could be reached for comment.
“Protecting children is one of our most sacred responsibilities, and the actions of this officer do not represent the professionalism and commitment that all of our employees show every day while protecting our community,” Acting Long Beach Police Chief Wally Hebeish said at the time of Brown’s arrest.
The Long Beach Police Officers Assn. said in a tweet that they would not be providing legal defense for Brown.
“These charges are deeply disturbing to every member of the Long Beach Police Officers Association,” the tweet reads in part. “If the allegations are true, there can be no excuse for this disgusting crime.”
Brown’s arraignment is scheduled for June 9 at the Foltz Criminal Justice Center in downtown Los Angeles.