LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Chief Charlie Beck of the Los Angeles Police Department announced Tuesday that his department will start releasing its body-cam videos for the first time ever.
“I think it’s fair to say that there will be an enhanced release of video – both body-worn and in-car video in the future in the city of Los Angeles,” the chief said.
When will it happened?
“The next up in the process is we’ll be taking this feedbback,” said Matthew Johnson, president of the Los Angeles Police Commission.
The feedback will come from the public and police officers over the last two and a half months.
The goal is to have in place certain guidelines to be adopted in three weeks.
Currently, 5,000 officers in the LAPD are wearing body cameras.
The City Council enacted a $59 million plan in June 2016 to equip more than 7,000 patrol officers with body cameras by the end of this year.
The department plans to have every officer equipped with the devices by next summer.
A survey conducted by the New York University School of Law found 49 percent of the public surveyed said the videos should be released within 30 days of the incidents. Only 13 percent of the officers agreed.
When asked if releasing of videos would put officers’ lives in danger, the public said 23 percent said “delay” while 21 percent said “release anyway.”
When officers were asked the same question, 76 percent said “delay” while 6 percent said “release anyway.”
“We think that the videos is the be all, tell all in an investigation, and it is not,” Beck explained. “I think the release of video too early is a mistake because it’s done out of context.”
The use of body cameras has become a prominent issue as the focus on police shootings has grown nationally.
LAPD officials have said they hope the cameras will help build more public trust in the department.