LAPD seeks input for new policy on releasing video captured by body cameras

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LAPD invite the public to submit input about a new policy on when video of critical incidents captured by body-worn cameras will be released. (KABC)

Public demand to view video of critical incidents captured by LAPD body-worn cameras has resulted in a new proposed policy.

"Today marks a significant step towards increasing transparency," LAPD's Board of Commissioners Vice President Matt Johnson said.

It typically takes a court order to compel LAPD to release a video, but on Tuesday the LAPD Police Commission presented a draft proposal that would make video releases a regular practice within 45 days of an incident.

The draft follows a yearlong campaign, and an outside consultant was hired to solicit input from communities across Los Angeles. Stakeholders weighed in, including the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office and the labor union for police officers.

The proposed policy would cover "critical incidents," which include officer-involved shootings, uses of force resulting in death or injury, deaths of arrestees or detainees, and any other police encounter in which the chief believes release is in the public interest.

"All of us want to be able to tell a better story than we have been doing," LAPD Chief Charlie Beck said.

The proposal is meant to balance multiple concerns, including the rights of private citizens and officers, as well as shielding minors and victims of violence.

The released video will be accompanied by additional information to provide context for the clip, such as witness statements and images from other cameras.

Public opinion is invited before the draft is finalized.
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