LOS ANGELES -- Leaders of the Los Angeles Police Protective League, the union that represents rank-and-file cops, said it would not criminally defend an officer who allegedly fondled a dead woman's breasts.
The officer's body-worn camera recorded the incident.
Lt. Craig Lally, a 39-year officer and union president, said he has never heard of any similar incident in policing. He called the allegation "reprehensible, repugnant" and said, if true, the officer "has no place in law enforcement."
If the allegations are found to be true, Lally said "the Los Angeles Police Protective League will not defend this officer in a criminal proceeding."
"This is beyond pale, beyond acceptable," he said.
The Los Angeles Times first reported the incident Tuesday.
Department officials initially thought the alleged act was discovered during a random inspection of the officer's body camera footage, but officials now say a detective investigating the woman's death found the video.
The officer, who is assigned to downtown's Central Division, was placed on leave and assigned to home as the department launched an internal investigation.
With board directors standing behind him, Lally said the union wanted to express a sincere apology to the woman's family.
"We are sorry for the pain this has caused," Lally said, further calling the allegation an "extreme violation of trust."