HomeCity NewsPolice Address Public Concerns Over TikTok Video

Police Address Public Concerns Over TikTok Video

The Burbank Police Department is facing renewed criticism after a video surfaced on social media depicting a woman, who claims to be a victim of domestic violence, apparently being arrested after her estranged husband, a former Burbank police officer, allegedly entered her home without permission and told responding officers that the woman struck him.
Details in the video have not been confirmed, and police are currently investigating the matter. Because of this, and due to the sensitive matter of domestic violence cases, specific details about the case and the identity of victims will not be shared by the Leader.
Police said that the social media video shows only a portion of the incident and that other related online videos contain commentary from a person who does not have firsthand knowledge of the facts, or any known connection to the investigations, or the parties involved.
The incident appears to be linked to a long-running situation between the woman and the former BPD officer. The recent video claims that, in September 2021, the woman obtained a restraining order against the former officer. That same month, an incident occurred in which BPD officers responded to a request to enforce the protective order after the former officer entered the woman’s home, according to the video.
The post, which was uploaded to TikTok on March 14, claims that, in the unfolding events that followed the BPD’s response, officers did not remove the former officer from the home and he was allegedly able to assault the woman.
Because domestic violence reports are not publicly available, details about the aftermath of the incident are unclear.
According to Burbank Police Chief Michael Albanese, BPD officials conducted a full internal investigation of the department’s response to the 2021 incident. Albanese said that the 100-page incident report states the altercation between the woman and the former police officer was mismanaged by the department, though BPD denied giving the alleged male perpetrator preferential treatment.
“During the review of the investigation, it was clear that we mismanaged the incident,” Albanese said in a report to the City Council in March 2022. “The bottom line is that we failed the city in managing it properly.”
The officers involved were ordered to undergo a one-week “directed training” on responding to domestic violence calls.
At that time, Albanese said, “I am absolutely confident that in the future we will do much better.”
The video alleges that, this month, the former Burbank police officer once again made an attempt to enter the home, causing an altercation. The woman is portrayed arrested outside of her home after her estranged husband again entered her home without her permission. According to the video, the former officer told responding officers that the woman struck him in the stomach, which the video alleges was untrue.
It is unclear as to why officers chose to arrest the woman given the known history between the two individuals. According to the California Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training: “At a minimum, law enforcement officers should determine the nature and extent of domestic violence by evaluating the existing cycle of violence.”
Additionally, it is standard in domestic violence disputes for responding officers to investigate prior cases between two parties before making an arrest.
“The Burbank Police Department is aware of several videos circulating on social media relating to domestic violence incidents involving a former Burbank police officer,” BPD officials said in a statement issued on Thursday. “We appreciate the community’s concerns, and we assure you the incidents are being investigated by the department’s Investigation Division. A detective who specializes in domestic violence cases is working closely with prosecuting authorities.
“Active criminal investigations are confidential, and it would be inappropriate [for police] to offer public comment. This is especially true when victims of domestic violence are involved,” a BPD statement. “The body-worn cameras and Department policy ensure our contacts are memorialized with digital evidence, which provides independent objective documentation to confirm the nature of the events, assist in resolving inconsistencies, corroborate community concerns, and/or provide justification for police actions.”
In the public fallout of the recent video, many called on the department to investigate the matter and bring justice to the woman depicted in the videos.
“The department appreciates the feedback the community has provided; it is valuable in ensuring our officers continually interact with all members of the community and carry out their duties in a professional and respectful manner,” the statement said.

First published in the March 25 print issue of the Burbank Leader.

Most Popular

[bsa_pro_ad_space id=3]