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.