Police Officer Under Investigation After Footage Said to Show Him Groping Dead Woman – The New York Times

A Los Angeles police officer was placed under investigation, a police spokesman said.

Body camera footage was said to show him groping a deceased woman’s breasts, according to a person familiar with the case.

The unidentified male officer was not working while the case was under investigation, Josh Rubenstein, the department spokesman, said on Wednesday.

The officer had been assigned to the Central Division and was responding to an overdose call, he said. Mr. Rubenstein declined to provide specific information about the incident, including when it occurred, because it’s part of a personnel investigation.

Supervisors throughout the jurisdiction conduct random reviews of video on a monthly basis, Mr. Rubenstein said.

All uniformed officers assigned to patrol the Los Angeles area have cameras, he said, and roughly 7,000 cameras are issued.

“If this allegation is true, then the behavior exhibited by this officer is not only wrong, but extremely disturbing, and does not align with the values we, as police officers, hold dear and these values include respect and reverence for the deceased,” the board of directors for the Los Angeles Police Protective League, the police officers’ union, said in a statement on Wednesday. “This behavior has no place in law enforcement.”

Police departments around the country have increasingly used body cameras after several high-profile shootings.

In 2015, about 95 percent of large police departments started using body cameras or said they would use them in the future, a national survey said.

A 2017 study of more than 2,000 Washington, D.C. officers conducted over 18 months showed officers with body cameras used force and prompted civilian complaints at nearly the same rate as officers without the equipment.

A Baltimore police officer was suspended and charges against a man were dropped after a body-camera recording appeared to show an officer planting a bag of drugs at the scene of an arrest in January 2017. In that case, the camera retained recordings beginning 30 seconds before it was activated.

In November 2018, The New York Times published body-camera recordings of an arrest in Staten Island that raised questions regarding police behavior. In this case, lawyers for the defendant claimed the footage contained possible proof that an officer planted a marijuana cigarette. The officer and the police department denied any wrongdoing.