INGLEWOOD — An Inglewood police officer has been caught on camera disabling a citizen’s video camera while that person was being detained at a local business.
Video footage has emerged showing Officer David Ramirez approaching two men in the parking lot of Kenny’s BBQ on Prairie Avenue. One of the men has been identified as Ricky Munday, who regularly records interactions between Inglewood Police and citizens.
The camera was recording while the two men were handcuffed and detained in front of the police cruiser, for allegedly being drunk in public. Officer Ramirez approached one of the men’s motorcycles, which had a camera stationed on the back of it, and proceeded to turn it off.
“Why are you touching my phone,” Mundy asked.
At that moment the camera turns off.
After being cited and released, the men turned their camera back on to describe what happened.
“We know that my live stream is not going to end, my battery is fully charged, and it ended suddenly when Officer Ramirez walked over to my bike and he turned my camera off,” said the man. “I feel violated and disrespected because they have no respect for people’s constitutional rights.”
Munday caught up to Officer Ramirez a few days later while he was conducting another traffic stop.
He approached Officer Ramirez to question him about why he turned off his camera and at that point Ramirez grabs his camera, which you can hear crashing to the ground.
“He just ruined my $2,000 camera,” Munday said. Ramirez responded by accusing Munday of interfering with his duties.
Both encounters appear to violate the department’s policy regarding the citizen’s rights to record officers.
Policy 465 covers Public Recording of Law Enforcement Activity which states Inglewood Police Department recognizes the right of persons to lawfully record members of the department who are performing their duties, and “member of the department will not prohibit or intentionally interfere with such lawful recordings.”
The initial incident at Kenny’s BBQ clearly showed the two men detained and handcuffed and without cameras in their hand. The officer was seen intentionally walking to the parked motorcycle to turn off the camera.
The video has been viewed over 136,000 times with the public having a chance to weigh in.
“Inglewood Police Department is always up to no good,” Julia Wallace said. “We can and will film you.”
2UrbanGirls reached out to the Inglewood Police Department and the office of Mayor James T. Butts Jr. for comment, but received no response.
2 Urban Girls is a freelance reporter for Wave Newspapers who covers the Compton and Inglewood areas. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.