Judge Frees Los Angeles Police From U.S. Oversight


Declaring that the Los Angeles Police Department has reformed itself significantly after decades of corruption and brutality complaints, a federal judge has ended a long-running period of federal oversight, reports the Los Angeles Times. U.S. District Judge Gary Feess terminated the consent decree federal officials had sought for the department in 2001, after the Rampart corruption scandal. The decree required dozens of wide-ranging reforms meant to tighten internal checks on officers’ conduct and subjected the police to rigorous audits by a monitor who reported to Feess.Feess and monitor Michael Cherkasky acknowledged improvements. Said Cherkasky, “LAPD has become the national and international policing standard for activities that range from audits to handling of the mentally ill to many aspects of training to risk assessment of police officers and more.” Since his arrival shortly after the decree went into place, Chief William Bratton embraced it as a blueprint for how to pull the department into a modern era of policing. In recent months, however, Bratton voiced increasing discontent. He said continued oversight had become a stigma that hurt morale, even when the department had proved its ability to police itself. Bratton now says “the department has regained its reputation.”

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