By CBSLA Staff

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — The Los Angeles Police Department confirmed Friday that it has opened an investigation regarding a photo showing nearly 40 mostly unmasked officers gathered downtown.

The photo, taken Wednesday afternoon by photojournalist Brian Feinzimer, a contributor to the L.A. Taco website, showed officers congregating near Union Station and the C. Erwin Piper Technical Center.

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LAPD told the outlet that the officers were repelling off a building prior to the photo being taken, and nearly half of them appeared to be assigned to the LAPD’s Metropolitan Division.

 

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The department released a statement to L.A. Taco that read, in part:

“The LAPD closely tracks CDC guidance and evolves our requirements accordingly. The vast majority of officers have continued to wear a face covering or mask whenever possible.”

Back in May, Chief Michel Moore said in a memo that department employees are required to wear face coverings during duties that require contact with other employees or the public.

A half-dozen LAPD sworn employees and two civilian employees have died from COVID-19 complications since the start of the pandemic.

As of Tuesday, 2,596 LAPD employees have tested positive for the virus, with 2,372 having since returned to work. The department currently has 242 employees self-isolating at home.

According to the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, 11 stations have COVID-19 outbreaks: Central, Foothill, Hollenbeck, North Hollywood, Northeast, Olympic, Southeast, Southwest, Topanga, Van Nuys and Wilshire.

Public Health also reports that the LAPD Metropolitan Communications Dispatch Center has a COVID-19 outbreak.

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(© Copyright 2021 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)