Inspector General Alex Bustamante said the department usually only reviews footage taken during serious incidents such as shootings, suspect pursuits, or when a complaint is made toward an officer. The report acknowledged that monitoring all video would be “too time-consuming and labor intensive.”
Bustamante expressed concern that pedestrian stops sometimes took place out of the camera’s sight. The report noted the primary reason for this inconsistency was that officers sometimes drove past pedestrians before stopping them, causing the camera pointing in front of the car to loose sight of the confrontation.
The inspector general said his office will conduct “regular and substantive reviews” of LAPD patrol car videos to help the department monitor potential officer misconduct.
Bustamante and other LAPD officials are now drafting new policy that “explicitly requires” officers to turn on cameras before initiating any stop. The report also states these measures will “enable the department to obtain more complete video of each stop.”
Bustamante noted that his office’s latest research was conducted “in light of the pending implementation” of the body cameras.
The report also indicated that a “small number of cases” involved officer’s microphones which “did not appear to be recording any audio.” Bustamante recommended the LAPD to investigate these cases to make sure the malfunctions were not deliberately caused by officers. Last summer, reports indicated that officers in South L.A. had manipulated voice recording equipment to avoid surveillance.
The inspector general’s report will be publicly presented to the Police Commission on Tuesday. LAPD Cmdr. Andrew Smith has denied comment on the findings until the presentation is complete.