Disgust and revulsion were apparent on the faces of every member of the Los Angeles Police Protective League's Board as they stepped forward to condemn an officer's alleged groping of a woman's dead body.
"I've never seen anything like this in 39 years," said Craig Lally, a veteran LAPD lieutenant who serves as the League's President. "What's alleged here, as heinous as this is, I don't even know how to explain...why somebody would do something like this."
The denunciation follows LAPD's confirmation that body camera video reviewed by the department appears to show a Central Division officer fondling the dead woman's breasts.
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The unnamed suspect officer has been sent home pending an internal investigation, according to LAPD. He potentially could be removed from the force and face criminal prosecution.
For the LAPD's internal investigation, the League is required to provide representation for the suspect officer, if he wants it, Lally said. In certain cases where officers are criminally charged in connection with their actions while on duty, the League has and will provide defense attorneys. But it would not do so in this case, Lally said.
The suspect officer and his partner had responded to check on a suspected death inside a downtown residence, and the act was committed during a time when the partner was returning to the police car, according to the account provided by LAPD. The Department said the suspect officer did turn off his body camera, but apparently was unaware buffer video recorded his actions. It was discovered by a superior while doing a periodic audit of random recorded officer-public encounters.
Lally said he did not know the suspect officer nor his background. He's been with the department around four years, according to an LAPD source not involved in the investigation.
The LAPD also said that the deceased woman's family has been made aware of the investigation.