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LAPD to Make Bodycam, Patrol Car Videos Public in Policy Reversal

The Los Angeles Police Department's years-long practice of keeping video from body cameras and patrol cars under wraps will soon end after the agency's civilian bosses approved a policy Tuesday that requires the release of recordings in the future.

LAPD Officer Jim Stover, right, shows reporters one of the department's new body cameras in 2015. Thousands of LAPD officers now wear the devices. (Credit: Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

LAPD Officer Jim Stover, right, shows reporters one of the department's new body cameras in 2015. Thousands of LAPD officers now wear the devices. (Credit: Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

The 4-0 vote by the Police Commission marks a dramatic about-face for a department that refused to release such footage even as it rolled out thousands of body cameras to officers across the city in recent years.

The new approach will give the public a firsthand look at some of the most crucial moments involving the LAPD: shootings by officers, deaths that occur in their custody, or other encounters when they use force that kills or seriously injures someone.

The implications could be felt beyond Los Angeles. Law enforcement agencies across the country are still struggling with when and how to release video — if at all. In California, lawmakers' attempts at a statewide answer have repeatedly stalled, leaving a patchwork of policies with varying degrees of transparency.

Read the full story on LATimes.com