An administrative investigation has been launched against a police officer with the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD), after he was caught touching a woman's corpse, inappropriately. The incident was caught on his body-worn camera.
It happened when the accused along with his partner responded to a call about the woman in a residential unit. Upon reaching the site, the two police officers determined that the woman had deceased. While his partner police officer went out to fetch something from their patrol car, the accused stayed with the woman's corpse.
The body-worn camera captured the officer touching the dead body
He switched off his body-worn camera and started fondling the dead woman's breast, Los Angeles Times, reported on Tuesday. Although the officer deactivated the camera, a two-minute buffer on the device captured the incident. According to reports, when an LAPD officer turns his or her camera on, it automatically begins saving video and audio starting two minutes prior to the activation.
Earlier, it was reported that the video footage was retrieved during a random inspection, but now it has emerged that a detective investigating the woman's death found the video. It remains unclear, for how long the officer fondled the woman's body or what else happened while the camera was turned off.
Officer suspended, administrative inquiry ordered
The chief spokesperson of LAPD informed, "We immediately launched an administrative investigation once we learned about the incident and we assigned the officer to home". Assistant Chief Robert Arcos called the recording "very disturbing."
The Los Angeles Police Protective League said in a statement, "If this allegation is true, then the behaviour 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. This behaviour has no place in law enforcement". If allegations are found out to be true "the Los Angeles Police Protective League will not defend this officer in a criminal proceeding."
Sexual contact with a deceased amounts to felony
According to Californian law, willful sexual contact with the deceased amounts to felony. As per the law, every person who willfully mutilates, disinters, removes from the place of interment, or commits an act of sexual penetration on, or has sexual contact with, any remains known to be human, without authority of law, is guilty of a felony.