Gardena Police Chief Issues Statement In Response To Release Of Dash-Cam Video

Ed Medrano, the police chief of the Gardena Police Department, issued the following statement in response to the release of video from a June 2013 officer-involved shooting:

“The events that night in 2013 were tragic for all involved. We continue to sympathize with the families and regret their loss.

“We have thoroughly reviewed our response and have initiated new training, including the tactical use of cover techniques to slow down fast-moving events; we will also soon equip all our police officers with body-worn cameras.

“Dash-cam videos and audio recorders are tools we have used for more than a decade to aid investigations and for monitoring the actions of our officers. In this case, our internal affairs division, the District Attorney’s Office, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and the families of Mr. Diaz-Zeferino and Mr. Acevedo and their lawyers had the ability to view the videos for their investigative purposes. The District Attorney’s 14-page review of the shooting, which is public record, described in detail what was recorded on the videos. We have also settled a civil claim with the family. Thus, the criminal, civil and administrative cases are closed and our position is that everybody who needed to see the videos has had the opportunity to do so.

“As our lawyers expressed in court, we have serious privacy concerns as it relates to the release of police videos in general. Imagine the implications of criminals seeing and hearing everything victims and witnesses tell police officers, or victims being subjected to having their interactions with police broadcast on the news or posted on the Internet. Our police officers are entrusted with sensitive and extremely personal information and we often come in contact with people under tragic situations and at there worst. We worry about the implications of this decision and it’s impact on victims and average citizens who are recorded by the police.

“Although the video has been released, we are still moving forward with our appeal because we are concerned about the broader implications of this decision. In fact just prior to the public release of the video, 9th Circuit Court Judge Alex Kozinski issued an emergency stay of Judge’ Wilson’s order until the matter could be heard in from of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeal.”

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