ACLU to Justice Department: Don’t Give LAPD Money for Body Cameras

Body Cameras

LAPD Officer Jim Stover demonstrates the police department’s body cameras at Mission Division. (Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

Citing “deep reservations” with the LAPD’s body camera policy, the local chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union urged federal officials on Thursday not to give the department money to buy more of the devices.

The ACLU’s 11-page letter sent to Washington, D.C., on Thursday morning was the latest in which the organization has voiced its concerns about how the Los Angeles Police Department cameras — and their footage — will be used. A key issue: The LAPD has said it doesn’t intend to make video from the cameras public unless required through a criminal or civil court proceeding.

“We believe that the LAPD’s policy does not promote — and in fact undermines — the goals of transparency, accountability and creation of public trust that body-worn cameras should serve,” senior staff attorney Peter Bibring wrote.

Kate Mather
Los Angeles Times