The Los Angeles police department has recently gone under inspection, due to police officers tampering with video and voice recording equipment.
It has been discovered, through a number of records and interviews, that police officers from the LAPD have been disabling tracking and monitoring equipment upon entering highly populated areas such as cities and town centers. This is a huge problem, especially for the LAPD. Independently, to this day, the LAPD has been in the middle of controversy when it comes to police brutality and crowd control. The removal of such equipment is now preventing officers from being monitored by their department, technically allowing officers to act however they want towards their ‘pray’.
The L.A Times stated that the inspection of the LAPD revealed that “about half of the estimated 80 cars in one South L.A. patrol division were missing antennas, which help capture what officers say in the field. The antennas in at least 10 more cars in nearby divisions had also been removed.”
According to countercurrentnews.com, the officers have been targeting specific areas to do their illegal police activities, turning off their equipment in these areas regularly.
High ranking officials within the LAPD have been aware of the issue for about a year, but decided not to investigate which officers were behind it. However, the department did issue out warnings and began checking the equipment before and after shifts.
Members of the police commission, who oversee the department, were shocked to find out about the scandal months after its first discovery; the commission was not briefed about the discovery, nor was it mentioned to them directly, the commission found out about the scandal though an interview with The Times. The overseers were horrified to find that the officers they thought they could trust were actually concealing evidence, or possibly even committing illegal acts themselves.
“On an issue like this, we need to be brought in right away,” Steve Soboroff, the commission president, explained. “This equipment is for the protection of the public and of the officers. To have people who don’t like the rules to take it upon themselves to do something like this is very troubling.”
LAPD Chief, Charlie Beck, announced that failure to inform the commission was “unintentional” and that “The department did not try to hide this issue.”
Some of the equipment that is used to monitor the police force include things such as; transmitters on their belts to relay chatter back to the police car; cameras that automatically turn on when sirens and lights are turned on, and in some cases, body cameras. Most, if not all, of this equipment can be turned off manually by the officer.
The Times also announced that Cmdr. Andrew Smith, a spokesman for Beck, said that with “a total of about 160 antennas installed in Southeast Division vehicles, 72 had been removed… Twenty antennas from cars in other divisions were missing as well,” he also stated that “We took the situation very seriously. But because the chances of determining who was responsible was so low we elected to… move on.”
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