A random inspection of a Los Angeles police officer’s bodycam footage allegedly captured him fondling a dead woman’s breasts, leading to an internal investigation by his department, according to reports.
The unidentified LAPD officer has been placed on paid leave as the department investigates the incident that began with a call to police about a possible dead body in a residential unit, the Los Angeles Times first reported Tuesday.
The officer, who had been assigned to the downtown Central Division, responded to the scene with a partner but was briefly left alone with the body when his partner retrieved something from their patrol car. While alone, he allegedly deactivated his body-worn camera, fondled the woman’s body, and then turned his camera back on.
Because the camera is designed to automatically record and save footage made two minutes before it is activated, it allegedly captured the officer fondling the body just before he turned his camera back on to record, the Associated Press reported.
“We immediately launched an administrative investigation once we learned about the incident,” police chief spokesperson Josh Rubenstein told the Times, adding they assigned the officer to home duty.
A police spokesperson, reached by HuffPost on Wednesday, would only confirm that an investigation is underway.
It’s not clear when the incident is alleged to have happened and when the footage was discovered.
It was reportedly found during a random review of officers’ body-camera footage by police officials in an effort to review officers’ on-the-job conduct, a person briefed on the incident told The AP on condition of anonymity.
The Los Angeles Police Protective League, the union that represents rank-and-file officers, condemned the alleged behavior in a statement.
“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 board of directors said. “This behavior has no place in law enforcement.”
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