A Los Angeles Police Department officer was allegedly caught on body-camera footage fondling a dead woman’s breast, according to a department spokeswoman.
The veteran officer, who has not been identified, has been removed from active duty, and the incident is under investigation, the department spokeswoman confirmed to NBC News.
The LAPD officer was assigned to downtown Los Angeles’ Central Division when he and his partner responded to a call about a possible dead woman at a residence, according the Los Angeles Times, which first reported the investigation into the alleged incident.
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After the officer and his partner determined the woman was dead, the partner left the room, at which point the officer left with the corpse turned off his body-worn camera.
But the camera caught the alleged fondling in the moments before the officer turned it back on because the devices have two-minute buffering periods to capture what happens right before they are activated, a person briefed on the incident who was not authorized to publicly discuss the case told The Associated Press on the condition of anonymity.
That person told the AP that the footage was found during a random inspection of the officer’s body-camera footage. It’s unclear when the alleged incident happened or when the video was discovered.
The LAPD started field-testing body cameras in 2014 and has since deployed more than 7,000 of them.
The Los Angeles Times reported last month that the LAPD had reached an agreement with the Los Angeles Police Protective League, the union for officers, to randomly review camera recordings even when they do not capture arrests or use of force.
The union said in a statement that the veterean officer’s alleged behavior with the woman’s corpse “has no place in law enforcement.”
“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 statement said.
Associated Press contributed.