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Police Commission OKs Plan To Release Video Footage From LAPD Body Cameras

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) - The Los Angeles Police Commission unanimously approved a plan Tuesday to release video from officer body cameras and other sources recorded during shootings and major crimes or confrontations.

Officers have used the cameras in the field since a June 2016 decision by the City Council to spend $59 million to equip more than 7,000 patrol officers with the devices.

The decision by the civilian oversight panel reverses previous Los Angeles Police Department policy that withheld videos recorded by thousands of body cameras.

Chief Charlie Beck was among several officials who previously balked at releasing footage, warning of potential privacy issues involving people seen in the videos and possible threats to ongoing police investigations.

LAPD body camera
A Los Angeles Police Department officer wears a body camera at the Los Angeles Gay Pride Resist March, June 11, 2017 in Hollywood, California. / AFP PHOTO / Robyn Beck (Photo credit: ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)

Under the new policy - which applies to body cameras, in-car video, police facility surveillance video, drones and video in the department's possession that was captured by third parties - video shot during shootings, in-custody deaths and other "critical" events would be released within 45 days.

"I think this will go a long way in helping build public trust through a significant increase in transparency," Commission Vice President Matt Johnson said.

(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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