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LAPD mulls new body cam video release policy

The proposal would reverse the LAPD’s current policy of not releasing videos except under court order


By PoliceOne Staff

LOS ANGELES — The Los Angeles Police Commission discussed a proposal Tuesday that would change the LAPD’s policy on releasing police videos.

KNBC-TV reports that the proposal would reverse the LAPD’s current policy of not releasing videos except under court order. Board Vice President Matt Johnson, who helped craft the bill, said the measure would increase transparency and strengthen “the bonds of trust between the LAPD and community we serve.”

In this Jan. 15, 2014 file photo a Los Angeles Police officer wears an on-body camera during a demonstration in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes, File)
In this Jan. 15, 2014 file photo a Los Angeles Police officer wears an on-body camera during a demonstration in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes, File)

Under the proposal, videos shot during critical incidents, including shootings, in-custody deaths and other major events, would be released within 45 days. The policy would apply to body cameras, in-car video, police facility surveillance, footage captured by UAS, and even video filmed by third parties that’s in the PD’s possession.

The bill also states that videos could be withheld from the public under certain circumstances, such as to protect confidential sources or integrity of an investigation. The police chief and two selected commissioners would decide on whether to delay the release of videos.

If the chief and two commissioners vote unanimously to delay, the video would be held from public release for 14 days. The decision would be revisited every 14 days after and also be presented to the Police Commission, which could overrule the subcommittee's decision.

The bill was discussed on Tuesday, but the board will likely to vote on the proposal during its March 13 meeting.

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