Police Abuse

A California Cop's Body Camera Captured Him Fondling a Dead Woman's Breasts

The officer turned his body camera off, but the incident was still recorded.

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A veteran officer with the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) captured himself fondling a corpse on his own body camera.

The Los Angeles Times reports that an unnamed officer in the Central Division responded to a call about a dead woman in a residential apartment. After arriving, the officer and his partner concluded that the woman was in fact deceased. When the unnamed officer's partner returned to the patrol car to retrieve something, the disturbing incident occurred.

The offending officer turned his body camera off and fondled the dead woman's breasts. When he turned the camera on again, a portion of his actions were captured. When an LAPD body camera is activated, a two-minute buffer saves any audio and visual that occurred prior.

LAPD officials found the footage in a random inspection. Last month, Chief Michel Moore announced that the department would review footage to identify instances of poor policing training and bias.

Josh Rubenstein, a spokesperson for the LAPD, told the Times that an administrative investigation was "immediately launched" and the unnamed officer was placed on leave.

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  1. Where’s the video?

  2. ” Was that wrong? Should I not have done that? I tell you, I gotta plead ignorance on this thing, because if anyone had said anything to me at all when I first started here that that sort of thing is frowned upon..”

    1. Yeah, he knew it was wrong, that’s why he turned his bodycam off and back on.

      But they will send him to the police academy as a teacher, his specialty being on the importance of reading the fucking manual to learn about the 2 minute buffer.

    2. That was actually Jason Alexander’s favorite scene from the whole show.

      1. That is a lot of people’s favorite scene from the show.

        About the only one I remember.

        1. I remember shrinkage.

    3. ‘Is this frowned upon? Should I maybe not have done that?’

    4. I just watched that episode last night!
      What a show; pure gold almost every episode!

    5. Where I used to work people fondled dead bodies all the time!
      Costanza, Lord of idiots

  3. Probably a good thing that funeral directors don’t have to wear body cameras.

  4. >>When an LAPD body camera is activated, a two-minute buffer saves any audio and visual that occurred prior.

    define “activated”.

    1. The fact that the cop is able to deactivate it is bullshit.

      1. Perhaps but what happens when they need to take a shit. Does that need to be on camera too?

        1. There are also gonna be cases where the police show up and there’s no real exact reason to be videotaping and all kinds of liabilities involved with it. I can’t imagine it isn’t/wouldn’t/couldn’t be a huge fucking mess for police to walk into a hospital and collect a rape kit, even just picking it up, while video recording the whole time. There’s certainly a case to be made that they should but in any given hallway there’s probably at least a half dozen cases why they shouldn’t. Obviously, there’s a lot of getting along to go along happening now but there’s no reason, engineering-wise, not to put an off switch on the things in the assumption that this might not be the case in perpetuity.

          1. Then send a non-cop to do it.

            In any case, filming in public – and a hospital corridor is public – is not a HIPPA violation.

            1. Then send a non-cop to do it.

              So someone with legal authority that preserves chain of custody but without a video camera? You’ve either described a cop or, worse, a lawyer.

              In any case, filming in public – and a hospital corridor is public – is not a HIPPA violation.

              Explain precisely where in a hospital, in the context of roving always-on cameras, doctor-patient privilege is and is not protected. I freely admit that I can’t. I do know that the issue is easily averted with off switches on the cameras. Moreover, the hospital was just an example. A private business may be more than willing to let police on the premises to arrest someone but may not want video record of their internal operations.

              It’s rather overtly oximoronic to bemoan the surveillance state at home and abroad and then insist that officers effectively become roving spy cameras, even against their own will/better judgement.

              1. You’ve either described a cop or, worse, a lawyer.

                Yeah. Remember all those incidents of lawyers gunning down people in their own cars, and then claiming they made a furtive gesture towards their waistbands.

                1. Yeah. Remember all those incidents of lawyers gunning down people in their own cars, and then claiming they made a furtive gesture towards their waistbands.

                  A cop can only shoot you dead once. A lawyer can keep you locked in a cage for the rest of your life.

                  1. Au contraire, a cop can do either depending on how he’s feeling that day.

            2. Nor is it a HIPAA violation.

          2. Maybe just assume they are up to no good if they turn it off while actively investigating something or making an arrest.

            1. Yes, because there is no possible way they are talking to a witness who wants to remain anonymous or a crime victim who wants to protect their privacy……

        2. If they are given the ability to turn off their body cameras in the bathroom, then they will just take the suspects into the bathroom to rough them up or fondle them.

          1. then they will just take the suspects into the bathroom to rough them up or fondle them.

            Without a sarc tag, I can’t tell if you’re really this dumb or playing at the fact that police are dumb.

            Not that they won’t turn the cameras off, but you realize that dragging the suspect to a bathroom isn’t required and is, itself, an implicating act, right?

            1. The suspect pleaded with me that s/he needed to use the bathroom urgently, and did not want to soil their clothes. I felt it would be abusive to refuse this request, and there was a bathroom very close by.

              1. Then the suspect tripped in the bathroom, fell forward and repeatedly struck the back of his head on the edge of the toilet bowl on the way down.

              2. The suspect pleaded with me that s/he needed to use the bathroom urgently, and did not want to soil their clothes.

                Which, if true, would (or should) be on camera.

                You don’t have to take a suspect to the restroom to turn the camera off and rough them up. Just say you’ve got to take a piss and turn the camera off. Then rough them up wherever you like.

                WTF is the obsession with taking people to the restroom? At first I felt bad defending this guy in the least little bit, now I feel bad that there are lots more people a lot like him than I previously imagined.

        3. Yes.

        4. Well if there weren’t so many crappy cops these days acting like the damn Stasi, the body cam thing would never have started. But as we militarize our “peace” officers and make their abuses of power unaccountable, this happens.

          The problem is that we have more lousy cops with bad attitudes than ever before. Remember, they are here to “protect and serve”, except those they protect and serve are the political and bureaucratic class, not we the people. I think they are being trained to treat the public at large as adversaries.

          But don’t let the 90% of bad cops ruin it for the rest.

          1. The cops in East Germany are different now. Maybe that has something to to with getting rid of the Antifa communist constitution, looters and laws? And it CAN happen here. To Nazis and Communists alike, the only “wasted” vote is a libertarian spoiler vote that opposed their policies and costs them their power, perks, paychecks and pelf. Nobody even dreamt birth control could be legal before Tonie Nathan got an electoral vote in 1972.

      2. The fact that the cop is able to deactivate it is bullshit.

        IDK, especially in this case, it’s a pretty clear indicator of intent and physics/logistics/economics forbid leaving it on 24/7. Dude “turning it off” to fondle a corpse is better than leaving it somewhere when he goes to “take a piss”.

      3. Bathroom breaks???

      4. I agree, it would be best to have the tape of a 7 year old rape victim that has beaten there for all of us to see. Maybe the murder scene with the bodies mutiliated, maybe a head chopped off, or cops telling a women her kid was killed, how dare cops have the ability to turn them off.

    2. “LAPD officials found the footage in a random inspection. Last month, Chief Michel Moore announced that the department would review footage to identify instances of poor policing training and bias.”

      And just so we’re all clear, the cop who was seen fondling a dead woman was something that they announced finding in the first month of random inspections. I bet there’s other stuff that went unannounced because they’re more interested in covering up. And imagine how much more they’ll find in the future months.

  5. The LA Times left out the most important bit of information. Was she hot?

    1. The LA Times left out the most important bit of information. Was she hot? Did he ask for affirmative consent and then pretend she said, “Yes” while nodding her head up and down?

      1. Well I can almost promise you this: she never said “no.”

    2. Also, A California Cop’s Body Camera Captured Him Fondling a Dead Woman’s Corpse’s Breasts

      Despite the bigoted cis-gendered writer’s dead dead naming, after the person is dead, we can’t be sure of their gender, can we?

      1. Well, if it wasn’t female in this case, we can at least be sure of their delusional mental illness.

    3. Not mention, what cup size?

      1. D as in dead. And probably firm from the rigor mortis.

    4. Probably room temperature.

  6. …the unnamed officer was placed on leave.

    I’m always amazed at what things these people choose to hold each other accountable for and what things they don’t.

    1. So true

    2. A lot of Tom Lehrer songs were copied from this sort of news story…

  7. For the life of me, I do not understand why this cop wasn’t immediately dismissed.

    1. Because this probably wouldn’t even make the department’s top 10 list of messed up cop stories.

    2. Is it actually a crime?

      I mean, I’m sure it’s icky/taboo and should be grounds enough to fire him but we might be barely talking about misdemeanor desecration of a corpse, right? Nothing even close to officers who show up and generate corpses.

      1. You’re right. He should stay a cop, but have to register as a sex offender.

        1. Not saying I disagree (I like the idea) but, to somewhat reiterate, being a registered sex offender wouldn’t prevent him from responding to future calls about dead bodies and fondling them.

          1. It could also fast-track him to a detective’s spot in the special victims unit, due to his “unique qualifications”.

            1. Crime Scene Investigator. Forget core body temp… *fondles breasts*… this woman was killed 2 hours and 15 min. ago.

        2. He should stay a cop, but have to register as a sex offender.

          Prisons have morgues, right? Prison mortician(‘s assistant). Grope the corpses of murderers, molesters, and rapists to his heart’s content.

        3. He should not be allowed to live within a mile of a graveyard.

          1. He should spend the rest of his life in a grave.

      2. I was going to say. Better than fondling an alive woman.
        It’s creepy and pathetic, but all he did was touch some dead meat. No person was harmed or violated.

        1. Other than the decedent’s family, who surely know about this by now!

          I wouldn’t want this to happen to any of my family members – living or dead – but honestly, the post-mortem sexual assault would bother me a lot more. How many Ed Geins wear the blue suit?

          1. I guess I’m particularly unsentimental about corpses.

            1. As you should be. Mystical notions about corpses are anathema to reason.

      3. Well, the OP said “dismissed” not arrested, so it sounds like you guys are on the same page.

      4. mad.casual – It is desecration of a corpse. From a moral perspective, an outrage like this (desecration of a corpse) cries to heaven.

        Unicorn may well be right….might not be in the top 10 for the LAPD, but no matter: the police officer should be dismissed immediately.

        1. It is desecration of a corpse.

          Depends actually. Most places legally define desecration specifically as destruction or disfigurement with implications towards concealment. Touching corpses is clearly allowed and to outlaw necrophilia would encroach on thought crime. Otherwise, every EMT that’s failed to resuscitate someone is guilty of molesting their corpse/desecration.

          From a moral perspective, an outrage like this (desecration of a corpse) cries to heaven.

          There are plenty of people who think prostitution, porn, and masturbation should be illegal and would (continue to) forbid them by law even if it meant more rapes and that people were more violent. As a conservative (moralizing?) libertarian, I don’t agree with prostitution and don’t think porn and masturbation are the best practices for individuals and/or a society, but that doesn’t mean I think they should be illegal.

          Condensing more exposition into one hypothetical: if his partner was turned on by the corpse and actually went to the squad car to rub one out, should he be fired for that social taboo? Not for wasting public time and resources but fired for masturbating while envisioning a corpse (or whatever)? Morally, legally, spiritually, I don’t see how the two acts substantially differ, don’t think either one should be a crime, and foresee all kinds of nasty consequences in making them such. There’s got to be procedure for handling a corpse and it almost certainly doesn’t say “Turn your bodycam off and fondle the corpse.”. The guy didn’t follow the procedure, demote, penalize, or fire him and call it a day.

          1. no mad.casual, it does not depend. It is desecration. Have you no respect for the dead? From a moral perspective, it is outrageous, and cries out to heaven. This cop should be summarily dismissed.

            There is no connection whatsoever between desecration of a corpse by a police officer and masturbation, prostitution.

            1. Have you no respect for the dead?

              I don’t believe the dead are contained in their corporeal bodies or that respect shown for the dead particularly affects the dead one way or the other, no. Nor do I believe that every human, alive or dead deserves respect, de facto. Plenty of people’s graves deserve to be pissed on. Moreover, Jewish tradition forbids lighting a corpse on fire. Putting a corpse in a boat and setting the boat on fire is desecration by Jewish standards. I do respect other people’s property and, as near as I can tell, it was undamaged.

              There is no connection whatsoever between desecration of a corpse by a police officer and masturbation, prostitution.

              They are all victimless crimes and, especially in this and/or similar cases, completely lacks other evidence or repercussions and may not even be able to be conclusively proven.

            2. It’s a movie trope that the protagonist or his/her love interest gets mortally wounded. Out of loved remembrance, hopeful optimism, psycho-physiological passion, or whatever, the survivor gives their newly dead partner a kiss. Sometimes the kiss comes well after their death at a wake or other time of remembrance. Taboo necrophilia or respect for the dead?

              I can’t remember if it was a plot point or actual news story about harvesting reproductive material from a corpse after his death. Taboo necrophilia or respect for the dead?

              As a libertarian the answer is easy; not my property, not my concern.

      5. “Is it actually a crime?”
        That’s a pretty low bar for keeping an employee. There’s lots of things any decent employer would fire someone for that is not specifically forbidden by statute.
        It is only in policing, with strong police unions, that feeling up a dead person would not get your ass fired immediately.

        1. That’s a pretty low bar for keeping an employee. There’s lots of things any decent employer would fire someone for that is not specifically forbidden by statute.
          It is only in policing, with strong police unions, that feeling up a dead person would not get your ass fired immediately.

          I don’t disagree that it’s a low bar for an employee but you, yourself, acknowledge that we aren’t dealing with a run-of-the-mill employee. As far as his brand of employees go, his behavior has unusually few victims and exceedingly short term consequences. If the genie popped out of the bottle and you could replace every violent and murdering cop with a corpse molester would you seriously answer no?

    3. 1) There is no official rule that tells them not to molest dead bodies.
      2) No officer has ever been dismissed for molesting a dead body so there’s no precedent.

      1. Qualified immunity, she failed to comply, reinstatement with back pay, case closed.
        Heroes!

    4. Unions are a helluva thing.

    5. You might want to look up the law and then you might understand

    6. There is probably due process written into their contracts.
      He was immediately suspended, but can’t be fired until he has had a full hearing.

  8. Apparently exercising your right to remain silent constitutes consent.

    1. nothing does not mean no.

      1. I think that implies that everything does mean no.

      2. Her fault then. Is she had spoken up, this wouldn’t have happened.

        And what was she wearing? We need to know this before judging the cop.

        1. ROTFLMAO 🙂

  9. Come on guys, don’t kink-shame him! /sarc

  10. I don’t know. Somebody overheard an officer saying that the officer didn’t do it. Using Reason — shouldn’t we assume the allegation is false now?

    1. [i]#BelieveAllCorpses[/i]

    2. #BelieveAllCorpses

      1. The upshot is that, in 6 mos., she won’t suddenly decide that she was raped.

        1. That will stop Gloria from a new conference?

  11. The chief says they need to review their training? As in, “don’t fondle or grope dead bodies” wasn’t in the training program? Sticking your johnson in a meat grinder probably isn’t in the training program either because no normal person would do it.

    1. Yeah…. the “brickbat” aspects of this are secondary. Feeling an overwhelming urge to grab a dead woman’s boobies is really, really disturbing. Dude needs help.

      And no access to firearms or power over the lives of others.

      1. Must have been quite a pair, I suppose.

    2. Don’t be so harsh on the guy. Realizing that his mindless go-to response for police misconduct doesn’t make sense in this case would take more than three brain cells.

  12. The whole body cam thing is interesting. It has evolved much more slowly than I suspected it would. More places have them, but still not nearly as many as I had originally thought. I figured insurance companies would force compliance.

    And it seems that policies on body and patrol car cameras have absolutely no teeth. These things are still being turned off at the wrong time. You’d think that the government would arrive at a consensus on this one – that turning the camera off is heavily weighted towards guilt in whatever you are accused of.

    1. Insurance companies don’t have a lot of room to compel good practices on the part of departments, because most of the cities carry broad liability insurance, if they bother to carry insurance at all.

      I think one important change we could make would be to compel officers to carry their own malpractice insurance and remove most of the barriers (like qualified immunity) that prevent them from being personally sued. The completely power mad or reckless ones would get priced out of their favorite occupation pretty quickly.

  13. So he waits until they are dead to get his Biden on.

    Creepy, but not exceptional.

  14. Also on the “why would you do that?” front, at least this idiot has the defense that he didn’t realize that there was a two minute buffer that would be recovered when he turned his camera back on.

    I’m thinking specifically of Dr. West down in Mississippi who video taped himself using a dental mold to make marks on a little dead two year old girl’s face in order to frame someone for capital murder. (insert obligatory “and nothing else happened” meme)

  15. Since there is nothing they can do about it, why doesn’t the corpse just lay back and enjoy it. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

  16. This is a disappointing headline and topic for Reason, infotainment pulp.

    Go ahead and address unchecked police brutality, but this incident is a local issue a best.

  17. Al Franken did the same to a woman still very much alive and you said he was being railroaded.

    1. I don’t like Franken but you’re making me defend him on principle. As far as can be known, he pantomimed groping a woman for humorous effect explicitly on camera (a photo that someone who was in on the joke took). It’s almost the diametric opposite of turning off a monitoring device when your partner leaves the room and groping a corpse for presumably erotic reasons.

      At best it’s a several dozen fresh oranges to one dead, rotten apple comparison.

  18. Necrophilia? Dude…

    1. thats wrong? I bet there is nothing in the manual on that.

  19. see now, was that so difficult ?

  20. Well, if the cop doesn’t fondle the dead woman’s breasts, then who will?

  21. He probably “feared for his life” and was just conducting a postmortem frisk for “officer safety.”

  22. It seems clear, but I perceive ambiguity in the article text… “When an LAPD body camera is activated, a two-minute buffer saves any audio and visual that occurred prior.”
    So that means that the camera is always recording to a two minute buffer regardless of off/inactive state. When it is turned on/activated it dumps that two minute buffer to long(er) term storage (sd card/network)?

    So the officer goes to take a piss and turns off the camera.
    Comes out of the bathroom 90 seconds later and turns the camera back on.
    The camera dumps the entire bathroom trip to storage.
    or
    When the camera is turned off, it keeps recording to a buffer for 2 additional minutes. Upon activation, those two buffered minutes get dumped to storage. (bathroom example above applies to this case equally).
    In either case, turning off the camera for less than two minutes is the same as not turning the camera off.

    1. It’s option A. When the camera is “activated”, the previous two minutes is saved, and then everything it records is saved until it is “turned off” and goes back to saving just a two minute buffer.

  23. These cameras should only have one button on them to RECORD which is activated when they leave the cop shop! Can’t be stopped by anyone until duty is over and turned in to be downloaded and archived!

  24. I never knew CSI meant Cold Stiff Intimacy. That’s what’s on the show?

  25. Who thinks this is merely a “disturbing incident”? The author. Police must be held to a higher standard and the worst officer on a force is the best as that force will be. The very reasons police were not wanted or needed after the Revolution but decades later graft, kick backs and corrupt officials eventually let these ‘protect and servers’ fool us with their nonsense until it became apparent we have the British soldiers patrolling our streets once again. Remember that the police put your life on the line every day 24/7 and is immune from prosecution. And you cannot even have a pistol in your house. What crime does police stop anyway?

    https://www.constitution.org/lrev/roots/cops.htm

  26. No, he needs to be removed from the Force. But L.A. will most likely keep him, because most of their police have done the same. Then they would have no one to do slow car chases through the entire city!

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