Tags: Los Angeles | police | body | cameras | approved

LA Panel OKs New Police Body Camera Rules

By    |   Tuesday, 28 Apr 2015 07:51 PM

Following an intense debate over the best way to monitor officer's behavior, the Los Angeles Police Commission voted 3-1 Tuesday to approve a new policy requiring officers to activate body cameras during all stops, KPCC Radio reported.

This means officers will be required to activate the cameras during all pedestrian stops as well as witness and victim interviews, foot pursuits, crowd management actions, and calls for service.

The policy, put forward by Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) Chief Charlie Beck, allows police to watch the video before filing their reports.

Beck said the body camera video would not be made available to the public in most cases. He told the commission that the cameras are considered evidence and the LAPD generally does not make video evidence public before the conclusion of an investigation.

Beck has also stated that he did not intend to release body camera footage unless he was required to do so by a court proceeding. The police chief did not rule out the possibility that he might reconsider, however.

One major bone of contention was whether the police could look at the video before writing their reports. The police commission voted to permit them to do so.

"You want officers to have faith in the system," Beck said in arguing in favor of this provision. "You want officers to believe the system is fair to them."

The LAPD said officers need to be able to examine the tape to "ensure that their reports, statements and documentation are accurate and complete."

It further states that when officers are involved in a major incident like a shooting, they are allowed to view the recordings from their body cameras and those of others — but "only after being authorized by the investigator assigned to the case," the Los Angeles Times reported.

Those guidelines are generally consistent with recommendations made last year by a national police research group, in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Justice, according to the Times.

The ACLU of Southern California, however, strenuously opposed allowing police to watch the video before turning in their reports.

The ACLU group's executive director, Hector Villagra, said that permitting officers to review their footage could taint their recollection of the incident or allow them to change their stories to fit what is depicted on the recording.

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Following an intense debate over the best way to monitor officer's behavior, the Los Angeles Police Commission voted 3-1 Tuesday to approve a new policy requiring officers to activate body cameras during all stops,KPCC Radio reported. This means officers will be required...
Los Angeles, police, body, cameras, approved
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2015-51-28
Tuesday, 28 Apr 2015 07:51 PM
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