Attorney David Chesley's Criminal Defense Blog

LAPD Squad Card Tampered With by Field Officers

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Although the LAPD is currently in the middle of a pilot program testing new on the field recording equipment, it turns out the older recording equipment is being sabotaged. Officers tampering with the video cameras in their squad cars is becoming more common as the department continues to expand their use of recording equipment.

It seems that dozens of squad cars have been tampered with in order to avoid being monitored while on the job. In the southeast division of the LAPD as much as 50% of the squad cars were tampered with, most of them missing antennas that are used to monitor chatter while on patrol.

Rather than investigating the problem and finding those responsible for the tampering, Chief Charlie Beck issued warnings and added new checks. LAPD commissioners say that the problem was not brought to their attention until months after the discovery

Chief Beck who learned of this problem last summer said he did not purposely keep the commissioners out of the loop. However the investigation into the missing antennas he conducted did not lead to disciplinary action against any individual officer.

Since September, new checks have been put into place in order to keep officers from sabotaging squad cars. These checks require antenna inspections at the start and the end of every officer’s shift. Officers are also required to notify supervisors immediately if an antenna is broken or missing.

The Police Commissioners seem to be concentrating their investigation on the Southeast patrol station where most of the tampering took place. The southeast division covers Jordan Downs, Watts and Nickerson Gardens, where relations between police offices and minorities have been tainted over the years by claims of police misconduct.

Currently the LAPD is expanding the use of both in car cameras and on body cameras to be used in the field, and their current equipment being protected new tactics.

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