Just before a critical federal report was issued yesterday, Los Angeles Police Chief William Bratton overhauled the unit that reviews how his officers use deadly force. The Los Angeles Times says Bratton found that some of the unit’s reviews sloppy, incomplete and brought “into question the quality of the overall investigation.”
Bratton’s named new leadership to the Critical Incident Investigation Division, moved two assistant chiefs, chose a new chief of staff and gave his counter-terrorism unit new duties–the most extensive changes since he took office a year ago.
Bratton agreed with the conclusions that the shootings were justified but faulted with the review process. A few hours later, a federal monitor said he was “extremely concerned with deficiencies uncovered” in the Critical Incident unit. Michael Cherkasky, who oversees the LAPD’s compliance with changes promised after the Justice Department threatened to sue for reforms. Cherkasky said evidence suggested that sometimes only statements that supported shootings were used, and that potentially negative statements were omitted.
Bratton called his staff shuffle a “functional realignment” designed to “do more with less”; he said the city has no money to hire more than the department’s current 9,300 officers.