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The ACLU/SC has asked the L.A. Police Department to explain its pepper-spray policy following an incident caught on video. In the video, an officer sprays a man who appears to be handcuffed and sitting in the back seat of a police car.
"In the wake of this alarming footage, the Department has not rushed to address justified public concern," stated a letter to the L.A. Police Commission. "The public is entitled to know what conduct the LAPD thinks is acceptable."
The spraying incident, which happened last year but came to light only this month, is one of several disturbing videos that have raised questions about L.A.'s commitment to police reform. Another video uploaded to the popular website YouTube.com showed an officer repeatedly punching a suspect in the face while another sat on his chest.
"The ACLU has long advocated for increased police accountability in order to enhance public safety," said ACLU/SC executive director Ramona Ripston in a statement. "The fact that this incident only came to light after being posted on a popular website dramatically illustrates how far we are from that ideal."