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Independent monitor says LAPD consent decree should be lifted

Los Angeles Police Department The Los Angeles Police Department's effort to end a federal consent decree imposed in the wake of the Rampart scandal got a boost today when the independent monitor overseeing the department said the decree should end.

LAPD Chief William J. Bratton is hoping that a federal judge will end the decree, which calls for federal oversight of department operations. The decree was enacted in 2001 in the wake of a scandal in which LAPD officers were accused of misconduct, including framing suspects.

In a 150-page report released Friday, the Office of Independent Monitor found that the decree “made the LAPD better at fighting crime, at reaching out to the community, in training its officers, in its use of force, in internal and external oversight and in effectively and objectively evaluating each of the sworn members of the LAPD.”

On Monday, U.S. District Judge Gary Feess is scheduled to consider removing the decree.

Los Angeles Police Protective League President Paul M. Weber applauded the move but also raised concerns about provisions requiring disclosure of officers' finances or other private information.

“With the city’s financial resources stretched to the limit right now, the money that is currently being paid to the federal monitor needs to be made available to the department,” Weber said. “We feel it is in the best interests of the department, city and the residents of Los Angeles to end the decree immediately. We will continue to push the process in that direction and will keep you informed as developments occur.”

--Andrew Blankstein

Photo: L.A. Times


Comments () | Archives (3)

The consent decree ought not to be lifted until LAPD officers start treating black and brown persons the same way they treat white persons--with respect.

Why is it, for example, that LAPD officers can move down Denker Avenue just south of Martin Luther King Boulevard loudly proclaiming it to be white t-shirt day and jacking up every male in sight wearing a white t-shirt? Of course if a male clad in a yellow t-shirt came along, it might become yellow t-shirt day as well. These indignities are disgraceful. No wonder there is a widespread lack of respect for LAPD officers.

No doubt many times people who attend community meetings will say that most of those youngsters wearing white t-shirts are gangsters, wannabe gangsters and most likely are runners for the drug gangs, they are packing, dealing and everything else. A Harvard Study came out recently stating the percentage of minorities who believe LAPD has come a long way helping their communities and treating them with respect had high numbers. What is interesting is those high marks are from African Americans. There will always be whiners and complainers who criticize LAPD. these whiners don't do anything to help the violence in their communities. They allow the gangsters to terrorize their parents, grandparents, kids and sit and do nothing but call LAPD when one innocent bystander is shot.

Shift the Consent Decree from the police onto the whole of society and our economic system. Poverty and unemployment is highest for young people of color and economic disparity widest between young people of color and whites. Reform and strengthen opportunity for poor youth in our sinking education, renew Affirmative Action, and fix our dysfunctional, corrupt system of economics. When the easiest “legitimate” jobs for young people to get and hold are 1) killing people on foreign soil, and 2) imprisoned labor ─ something is intolerably wrong.

Shift the Consent Decree from the police to policy makers, bureaucrats, and bankers. But, you must install real reform by holding our corrupt, criminal economic system and its henchmen accountable if you want to stop the cycle of violence between gangs and the police and violence by gangs upon the society in general. The cruel injustice of an Apartheid system is sure to bring violence, which is nature's way of showing us that something is wrong.


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