Mayor Eric Garcetti resisted a call Thursday for the Police Department to release video of an officer fatally shooting a homeless man in Venice.
Police Chief Charlie Beck has recommended that prosecutors file a criminal charge against Officer Clifford Proctor for the May 5, 2015, shooting of 29-year-old Brendon Glenn.
A group of civil rights activists held a news conference Thursday calling on Garcetti and the LAPD to release the video, and calling for full disclosure of all video from surveillance cameras or police body cameras in use-of-force cases.
“This strikes to the heart of the issue of fulfilling the public’s right to know as well as transparency in abuse cases,” said Earl Ofari Hutchinson of Los Angeles Urban Policy Roundtable. “Mayor Garcetti’s public support of this call and the implementation of a policy mandating public disclosure of all tapes in controversial deadly force cases is crucial to bolster public confidence in the LAPD.”
Speaking on the KNX Newsradio “Ask the Mayor” program, Garcetti resisted the call to release the video, saying the case is under review by the District Attorney’s Office.
He said the city will be holding hearings to review policies for the release of videos, but he said the city has to take into account the privacy rights of crime victims.
“Sometimes you have victims where you don’t (want) to be releasing a video where — even if there is an officer-involved shooting — if there was a victim of domestic violence or sexual assault, we have to provide privacy, too,” he said.
“… I do anticipate at some point there will be (videos released), but remember this video also isn’t from body cameras, this was private video that’s part of the case the D.A. has.”
The activists to the release in Chicago of police dash-cam video of the fatal 2014 police shooting of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald, who was shot 16 times. That case has raised questions of whether Chicago officers falsified reports about the shooting, given apparent discrepancies between the reports and the video.
But Garcetti said there was a key difference between that shooting and the LAPD case.
“The difference with Chicago is they didn’t even file or recommend filing charges,” the mayor said. “In this case, Chief Beck has. So that was a strong move by Chief Beck. As I said, I hope the district attorney will very carefully consider that in moving forward.”
—City News Service