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ACLU Fights U.S. Funding for Los Angeles Police Body Cameras

September 04, 2015  | 

A civil rights group asked the U.S. government on Thursday to deny Los Angeles police the funding they sought for body cameras for patrol officers, objecting to a policy that would allow the police chief to withhold video footage from the public, reports Reuters.

The nearly 9,900-member Los Angeles Police Department is the nation's third-largest metropolitan police force and the biggest to commit to equipping all its patrol officers, numbering about 7,000, with so-called bodycams.

City officials say the cameras will build public trust after a series of racially charged police shootings and other encounters sparked protests and unrest in the United States.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California agrees that bodycams are a potentially useful tool, but objects to a policy that would allow the city's police chief to withhold a video from the public unless a court orders it released.

ACLU officials also oppose an LAPD policy that would allow an officer who has used force against a person to review bodycam footage before talking to investigators.


Comments (5)

Displaying 1 - 5 of 5

Jon Retired LEO @ 9/4/2015 1:45 PM

I knew that the S**T was about to hit the fan on the body cams. They might show that the criminal did something wrong and the ACLU can't have that.

Bob Peterson @ 9/4/2015 5:41 PM

Body cameras are a good idea. I wonder why the aclu really doesn't want cameras. Can you imagine all the justified shootings that cant be questioned because of the cameras. The aclu has and will complain about everything. If a police dept. started giving away vitamin D white milk in the morning, some one would complain that it is not chocolate milk. Right now police are getting a raw deal. There are a hell of a lot more people for the police than against them. Trust me, don't expect people to buckle under . Be safe police.

Robert @ 9/4/2015 10:37 PM

I guess I just don't get it...maybe someone here can explain it to me:
1. A Police Officer who is accused of excessive force (or I guess any crime), will get to watch the video of the incident...and then give a statement (or exercise their 5th Amendment Rights) after that review?
Can anyone explain to me how that is fair, impartial or justice?
What would happen if we allowed anyone arrested to view the evidence before they make a statement and getting arrested?
This is just wrong, and basically about as unamerican as it gets. The people who drafted this policy should be removed from office...as they have no concept of justice or upholding what this country stands for.
Liberty and justice for all, not in LA. In LA it appears there is one set of rules for police and one for everyone else.
Does anyone understand that police/government get their powers from the consent of the governed...and this erodes that support!

plato's playdough @ 9/5/2015 1:44 AM

Fights the funding? Afraid on-body cameras will clear too many Officers?

Really, they JUST object to the footage not being released immediately? Who do they think they are, the TV News People?

It would be evidence to be used in a hearing or trial, and therefore be privileged information. Remember how Trayvon Martin's past was protected but George Zimmerman's whole life somehow dominated the NEWS?

By the time the trial ended, the information which the jury had considered showed the reason why Zimmerman was not convicted.

The demonstrators didn't care. Did they?

plato's playdough @ 9/6/2015 2:08 AM

http://www.policemag.com/channel/technology/news/2015/08/31/video-lapd-officers-begin-wearing-body-cameras.aspx

The cameras were provided by $1.5 million in private donations raised by the Los Angeles Police Foundation, according to the LAPD.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti outlined funding for about 7,000 body cameras and equipment in his 2015-16 budget proposal, but the funding has yet to be appropriated. City officials are still waiting on federal grants that they hope will pay for half of the costs, KABC TV reports.

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