The Los Angeles Police Commission told the police department yesterday to share more information with the public about shootings by officers, describing increased transparency as vital to building trust after fatal police shootings in the city and across the nation, reports the Los Angeles Times. The unanimous vote reflects a nationwide atmosphere of heightened scrutiny of police use of force and demands for greater openness about why officers fire their guns. In Los Angeles, there have been demonstrations at shooting scenes, a month-long sit-in outside City Hall and noisy protests at the commission’s weekly meetings.
“After a shooting occurs, there are often questions from the community — and rightfully so — about what happened and whether the shooting was necessary,” said Commissioner Sandra Figueroa-Villa. “I believe transparency is vitally important in addressing those concerns.” The commission voted to require the police department to expand its real-world, role-playing training for officers, ensure that police who fire their guns receive more support, and collect feedback from residents on whether video from police shootings should become public. Commissioners directed Inspector General Alex Bustamante to increase the number of staff who review how officers use less serious force, such as less-lethal weapons or punches, to take someone into custody. Those types of encounters attract less public attention but occur far more often than shootings and other serious force.