LAPD Body Cameras to be Purchased with $1 Million Federal Grant

All LAPD field officers will soon wear body cameras. Ladysmt / Pixabay

On Monday, September 21, the Los Angeles Police Department announced that they have been awarded $1 million from the U.S. Department of Justice to buy additional body cameras for city police officers. The Los Angeles suburb of Pasadena also received $250,000 in order to purchase body cameras for their field officers. In total, the federal government plans to distribute approximately $20 million around the United States to help dozens of agencies acquire this technology.

LAPD Body Cameras will be used on an Unprecedented Scale

The $1 million federal grant will make it possible for the LAPD body cameras to be purchased for approximately 700 officers. LA hopes to eventually have a body camera for every police officer who works in the field. They are currently the largest police department in the United States with plans to use cameras on such a large scale. In order to accomplish their goal, they will need to purchase a total of approximately 7000 cameras. Approximately 860 LAPD body cameras have already been purchased, using private donations. The city is also willing to spend money on this project and the LAPD is applying for additional outside grants.

ACLU Objects to the Way the LAPD will Use the Body Cameras

The American Civil Liberties Union has objected to the way the LAPD intends to the cameras, however. In particular, the ACLU objects to the LAPD’s decision not to release the film footage unless ordered by a court to do so. They also object to the fact that the LAPD will allow police officers to review the footage before writing a report about any event, including those that might be deemed to have involved excessive force or the death of a suspect. The ACLU objects to what they consider a lack of transparency.

Chief Charlie Beck Defends Use of Body Cameras

LAPD Chief Charlie Beck defends their decision by saying that they do not want the film footage to be distributed on social media, which could embarrass many suspects and people who are under arrest, including those who may turn out to be innocent. He believes that the cameras will help protect the integrity of their criminal investigations and will ensure more convictions.

Chief Beck also said that he wants “to make sure that an early release of video doesn’t taint” a conviction.

The ACLU said that they were disappointed by the decision of the U.S. Department of Justice to go ahead and award the grant for the LAPD body cameras.

http://patch.com/california/shermanoaks/lapd-awarded-1-million-body-cameras-despite-aclu-protest

http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-lapd-body-cameras-20150921-story.html

#LAPDBodyCameras #BodyCameras #LAPD


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