The Los Angeles Police Commission will launch the fifth investigation of the city’s notorious police corruption case known as the Rampart scandal, the Los Angeles Times reports. Dissatisfied with the job that Los Angeles police did investigating their own officers, the commission will name prominent civil rights attorney Connie Rice to head a fully independent commission to review the 1999 scandal.
Rice’s seven-member panel will judge whether the department has corrected mistakes that allowed the scandal to occur. Other members will be announced next month.
LAPD failures have been examined by other commissions in the last 40 years, including the McCone Commission after the 1965 Watts riots and the 1991 Christopher Commission after the Rodney G. King beating.
Rampart has already been the subject of four reports, including one in 2000 by the Rampart Board of Inquiry, an official police investigative body, a second for the police union by Erwin Chemerinsky, a USC law professor, and earlier reports for the Police Commission’s Rampart independent review panel and Los Angeles County Bar Association’s task force on the state of the criminal justice system.
Chemerinsky, who said he also has been asked to serve on the new Rampart panel, said the focus on fixing department policy to prevent future incidents of corruption was appropriate, given the time that has passed since the scandal broke.
The new investigation is supported by Chief William J. Bratton, who expressed frustration with the speed and quality of the department’s Rampart “after action” reports.