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LAPD should hold off releasing skid row footage from body cameras

To the editor: Hector Villagra, the executive director of the ACLU of Southern California, poses some good points in his argument regarding the Los Angeles Police Department's handling of the information pertaining to the recent skid row shooting. I concur with his position that Chief Charlie Beck would best refrain from any public comment regarding "facts" of the incident (referring to Beck's statement that the gun showed signs "indicative of a struggle over the weapon"). ("LAPD can build trust with release of video in fatal skid row shooting," op-ed, March 11)

But I totally disagree with Villagra's argument that the LAPD should release the videos from any body cameras worn by the officers in advance of the investigation's conclusion. Videos show only specific perspectives and must be reviewed and analyzed along with witness' statements.

Only when a thorough investigation has been completed should any collected information — videos, witness statements and physical evidence — be disclosed.

Jim Weyant, Big Bear City, Calif.

The writer is a retired Torrance Police Department captain and a retired L.A. County deputy district attorney.

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