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The Los Angeles Police Department caught one of its officers appearing to molest a woman’s corpse on body-camera footage. The officer, who hasn’t been named, turned off the device, but a two-minute buffer later captured the incident, according to the Los Angeles Times.
The unnamed officer allegedly fondled the dead woman’s breasts and has since been put on administrative leave with pay, pending a department investigation. But it’s unclear when the incident occurred, according to the New York Times. The Los Angeles Police Department conducts random reviews of body camera footage each month, and told KCBS that it discovered the incident during one of those inspections.
The officer, who’s been described as a veteran of the force, apparently attempted to deactivate his body-worn camera during the alleged incident, but later turned the camera back on, which automatically starts recording two minutes before activation, according to the LA Times.
At the time the footage was taken, the officer and his partner were responding to a call at a residential unit about a possible death. Once they confirmed the woman was dead, one officer went to the patrol car to retrieve standard paperwork, while the other officer stayed with the body. It’s at that point that he allegedly assaulted the dead woman.
“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,” the Los Angeles Police Protective League, the local police union, said in a statement to BuzzFeed News. “This behavior has no place in law enforcement.”
The police union has also publicly apologized to the woman’s family, although her identity has not been released.
The Los Angeles P Department began randomly reviewing footage from their more than 7,000 body cameras last month to determine whether officers were following department guidelines, according to the LA Times. Typically, body camera footage only surfaces alongside allegations of use of force or abuse, and random reviews can help reveal whether or not police are properly activating their cameras or whether there are abuses other than police brutality.
Cover image: JUNE 23: An Officer with a Body-Cam on his shoulder. (Photo by Michael Gottschalk/Photothek via Getty Images)