Alarmed by a number of incidents involving police abuse allegations, civil rights groups have called for the Los Angeles Police Department to install surveillance cameras in all police stations and to expedite putting the devices in all patrol cars. LAPD officials said they were taking steps to carry out that task, reports the city’s Times. Last week, a video surveillance camera installed in a station captured images of an officer allegedly assaulting a 16-year-old detainee while the youth was handcuffed, leading to the officer’s arrest.
Video systems have not been installed in several police stations, and the city is just beginning to test putting cameras in patrol cars. Without the cameras, investigators have had to rely on bystanders’ videotapes when looking into allegations of police abuse, including a case disclosed last month in which an officer in Hollywood was taped repeatedly punching a man in the face. Advocates say the cameras protect both police and crime suspects.