Body Cam Catches LAPD Officer Fondling a Dead Woman's Breasts

FILE - In this Jan. 15, 2014 file photo a Los Angeles Police officer wears an on-body camera during a demonstration in Los Angeles. An agreement with Boston's largest police union to have 100 officers wear body cameras was praised as a step toward greater accountability. But with the Sept. 1, 2016, rollout date for the pilot program approaching, not a single officer had volunteered to wear one. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes, File)

He thought he was so smart, turning off the body camera before feeling the woman up. But he failed to take a key detail into account.

Under a new procedure in which Los Angeles Police Department supervisors randomly review their officers’ body camera recordings (not including arrests or use of force incidents, which are already routinely reviewed) “to make sure officers are following guidelines when dealing with the public,” a supervisor in downtown’s Central Division caught a “veteran police officer” fondling the breasts of a woman who had been found deceased.

The incident occurred when the officer and his partner responded to a call about a possible dead woman in a residential unit, sources said. Once the two officers determined the woman was dead, one officer returned to the patrol car to retrieve something. During that time, the accused officer turned off his body-worn camera and allegedly fondled the woman’s breasts, LAPD officials said.

Although the officer deactivated the camera, a two-minute buffer on the device captured the incident. The department is also investigating the officer’s work history.

Chief spokesman Josh Rubenstein told the Los Angeles Times that as soon as the incident was discovered the officer was “assigned home” and an investigation was launched.

The Los Angeles Police Protective League (LAPPL)  Board of Directors released a statement condemning the alleged behavior.

“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, and these values include respect and reverence for the deceased. This behavior has no place in law enforcement.”

If the video taken from the camera indeed shows what LAPD supervisors contend it shows, this officer should receive the harshest punishment possible.