Please attribute the following statement to Hector Villagra, executive director of the ACLU of Southern California:
Tragically, yesterday marked the first shooting by Los Angeles Police Department officers equipped with body cameras since the department began implementing its program a few weeks ago.Media contact: Sandra Hernandez, 213.977.5252, firstname.lastname@example.org
This represents a pivotal moment for the department. It can use this new technology as a tool for advancing transparency and helping to build community trust by committing to release the body camera footage within a reasonable time. By doing so, members of the public have answers about yet another shooting and can judge for themselves whether or not this incident raises concerns about LAPD’s practices and policies. Or LAPD can bypass the opportunity body cameras provide and make body camera footage just another kind of information it withholds from the public while it asks the public to trust its investigation and determination.
LAPD must stop just asking for the public’s trust in shooting investigations and must do its part to build it. We call on LAPD to conduct itself in a transparent manner and publicly release the body camera video as soon as it is practicably possible to do so without interfering with the department’s internal investigation into the shooting.