Report to the Los Angeles Police Commission

Summarizing Public Feedback on LAPD Video Release Policies


What should happen if a police officer’s body-worn camera records an officer-involved shooting or other serious use of force incident? Should the video be made public? And if so, when? In 2017, the Los Angeles Police Commission invited members of the public to provide input on these important questions with help from the Policing Project, UCLA School of Law, and UC Irvine School of Law. This report summarizing public and officer feedback on the LAPD’s policy for releasing video footage of critical incidents—which lead to a new policy in LA that was eventually adopted statewide.

Key Takeaways

1). Broad Support for Release: A substantial majority of all respondents agreed that critical incident video should be released to the public at some point in time.

2). Timing of Release: There was significant disagreement between the general public and LAPD respondents regarding timing of the release.

3). Video Release: Automatic or Discretionary? Members of the general public preferred a policy under which critical incident video would be released automatically after a certain time period.