Department officials confirmed to local media outlets that the incident took place in November after a pair of male officers were dispatched to a Los Angeles home where a woman thought to be dead had been found. Upon arrival, the duo confirmed that the woman was deceased.
The discovery, however, took an unexpected turn after one of the officers returned to the patrol car to retrieve some paperwork. While that officer was gone, the second cop opted to stay alone in the room with the woman and later reportedly proceeded to touch the woman’s chest.
Although the accused officer deactivated his body-worn camera, the device still managed to capture the events, as it’s programmed to record for a two-minute period after being powered down. It’s presently unknown how much time passed between the alleged fondling incident and the moment that LAPD officials discovered the footage during the random inspection.
“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,” the Los Angeles Police Protective League, a labor union that represents the department, said in a statement released to the media.
“These values include respect and reverence for the deceased. This behavior has no place in law enforcement.”
Aside from investigating the incident, the department is also looking into the officer’s work history. Pending the probes, the officer has reportedly been placed on administrative leave.
The department’s policy to randomly inspect the footage from officers’ body-worn cameras has only been implemented for roughly a month, and was part of a larger initiative to ensure that LAPD officers were adhering to guidelines when conducting police business, reads a report from the Los Angeles Times. The department collects nearly 14,000 recordings every day.