• 52
Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck speaks at news co... Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck speaks at news conference at LAPD headquarters in downtown Los Angeles Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2014. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon)
Perhaps you've heard this line from a police officer or some other person of authority, "If you haven't done anything wrong, what do you have to hide?" That would probably be one of the many questions being asked by the Los Angeles Police Commission - the civilian oversight board of the Los Angeles Police Department - of the LAPD itself, after it was revealed that officers had tampered with devices in police cruisers meant to record what they say.

The quick backstory: LAPD patrol cars are fitted with devices to videotape traffic stops and encounters, and officers wear transponders on their belts that capture audio and send it back to the vehicle recorder via an antenna on the car. In summer 2013 an internal LAPD audit found that antennas on patrol cars had been removed. Doing so doesn't disable the recorder, but it lessens the range over which it works.

After the investigation, Police Chief Charlie Beck told a then-recently-elected Police Commission member who's now the commission president, Steve Soboroff, about the problem and said that it had been resolved, with measures put in place to deter future incidents. But it went no further than that until this February, when the Commission noticed poor quality recordings being used in a shooting investigation; that's when the oversight board was officially informed of the tampering.

Chief Beck, an assistant chief and two deputy chiefs publicly apologized to the Commission this week, saying that the department "fell short" but that "The department did not try to hide this issue." The policemen also defended their decision not to conduct an investigation, saying it would be futile since numerous officers will use a single car throughout the day and there'd be no way to figure out who removed the antennas.

The chiefs said they have developed new protocols to ensure there's no more tampering, including officers documenting the presence of antennas at the beginning and end of each shift and spot checks by supervisors, but it isn't clear that the situation is solved: one antenna has been found missing, and "dozens" of the transmitters worn by officers "were found missing or damaged" in one single division.

This article originally appeared on Autoblog.com



I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.


    • 1 Second Ago
  • 52 Comments
      spokajo
      • 11 Months Ago
      If a person on a cell phone is the same as a drunk driver, what does that make a police officer who is driving around doing the same thing? They do worse by operating their computers which are by their lower dashboards and requires them to actually look down away from the roadway for extended times. They are human just like the rest of us so they are just as guilty as the rest of us when they drive like that.
      RJM
      • 11 Months Ago
      Well, now, it's become readily apparent that we can't even trust our police depts not to tamper with the very equipment put in place to keep them honest either. Time to do a full-fledged investigation of every single officer's monitoring equipment city-wide and press charges against those whose equipment has been tampered with. This is yet another prime example of why we need to rein in our police depts throughout the US because they've clearly forgotten who pays their salaries and in whose best interest their jobs were created. This country really has become a police state -instead of a democracy- and until more and more Americans stand up and say we're not going to take this any longer, this police state will only become more intrusive and controlling. They've lost sight of the constitution that regulates their power and control.
      lockskeyssafes
      • 11 Months Ago
      Suprisingly there are thousands of motorists that have secret recording devices in their own cars and make millions in out of court settlements against the Police... In this day and age everyone is a spy and it seems that most of these recordings are recorded by sattelite to another location so even if the cops or whoever gets the camera its too late!!!! The cost of these things are about the same as a radar detector under $200.00 for a decent one. They also watch and record sound of the roads .... Mine cost me $289.00 but that was 3 years agothey came down in price.
      Sal
      • 11 Months Ago
      The police dept in USA is for the most part a well dressed, well armed, well financed third world police dept . They resemble corrupt Latin America and corrupt Saudi police.
        wes
        • 10 Months Ago
        @Sal
        yeah, they look like there dressed and ready to invade poland or something. Stupid costumes!
      wboozer@mail.com
      • 11 Months Ago
      I have never gotten a satisfactory answer as to why the LAPD and Los Angeles Sheriff's Department should not be charged with maintaining a continuing criminal enterprise under RICO?
      genegene002
      • 11 Months Ago
      They love cams until one is pointed at them! Just point your cell phone at a cop that is talking to someone and watch how jumpy they get some even get pissed! Why is that I wonder? They CAN NOT do anything to you for it either I think thats why they get so butthurt!
      • 10 Months Ago
      Just people in costumes doing what people do. They are not any different......just the costume
      lodi10
      • 10 Months Ago
      They are only people wearing costumes, look at the fool in the picture that had to actually do the apolizing. He looks as stupid as they come....... and this man protects us? LOL
      jayjaycoop
      • 11 Months Ago
      Maybe, there should be a video of some terrible wrecks shown to these persons cught using a cell fone while driving... A neighbor of mine, but not my neighbor, drove thru an inteersection O.K., but was off the road shortly, and clobered a very old, but strong wooden object, called "A LARGE TREE", said he never saw the tree until he hit it. Recodes show he was on his cell fone for 40 minutes before the KRASH!!! My brother was a State Trooper, and they liked to show some rather nasty videos of some terrible accidents, where many are hurt, screaming, and blood all over the place,,especially the screams of small children." Stupidity is not learned, until after a terrible accident" John from Eastwood 13206
      Sal
      • 11 Months Ago
      In USA there are two groups . Politicians, police and those with money (celebs included) who are ABOVE the law. The tax paying, working "little" people who are NOT above the law and often preyed upon by a bad police dept.
        • 11 Months Ago
        @Sal
        thats 3 groups actually wow lmao
      Sal
      • 11 Months Ago
      Has there ever been a city or state DA who has actually done anything, given a damn about the growing unethical conduct of the police?
      mikco99
      • 11 Months Ago
      And, they wonder why we call them pigs.
    • Load More Comments