Many officers of the Los Angeles Police Department face punishment after tampering with the voice-recording equipment on their vehicles used to monitor what officers say while on duty.
According to the Los Angeles Times, dozens of vehicles in the South Los Angeles patrol division were tampered with, most commonly by removing the antennas that transmitted audio recorded in the field.
So obviously, the officers were trying to hide what really goes on during their shifts.
The issue has come up before, according to Chief Charlie Beck. However, LAPD supervisors merely issued a warning instead investigating further or referring the matter to the civilian-led Police Commission.
They must have figured it did not matter what the police were actually doing during their time in the field and just trusted to do their jobs in a professional manner.
It is not uncommon for the LAPD to mistreat people on the street and face no consequences at all.
As of the April 15, the police officers involved “publicly apologized,” which means they will most likely get off without any type of consequence again.
The Assistant Chief Earl Paysinger openly admitted that the officers mad a mistake and “fell short.” But that seems like a generous assessment after issues have come up before.
Originally, the devices were installed into the police vehicles to address charges of racial profiling and other abuses by officers.
Officers are now required to document the two antennas that are attached to the vehicles at the beginning and end of each shift.
When the problem first came up in July, this rule should have been enforced, not now after more than 40 plus vehicles have been tampered with.
Oversight of police behavior is essential, particularly in the South Los Angeles division in which a number of racially-charged incidents have already occurred. Now is the time for the Police Commission to take control of the situation.