L.A. Appoints New Panel To Review Rampart Scandal

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The Los Angeles Police Commission today will name prominent lawyers and law professors to a 10-member panel that will review the Police Department’s response to the Rampart corruption scandal, the Los Angeles Times says.

Led by civil rights lawyer Constance L. Rice, the group will examine institutional failures of LAPD and consider whether structural changes have been made to prevent their recurrence. T panel includes academics and lawyers with strong backgrounds in law enforcement and reputations as vocal but reasonable critics of the LAPD. Many of its members have served on other special committees that reviewed LAPD actions in widely publicized cases, including the Rodney King police beating, the 1992 L.A. riots and the Rampart scandal.

In addition to Rice, the panelists are Henry S. Barbosa, a former Los Angeles County deputy district attorney; University of Southern California law professor and constitutional law specialist Erwin Chemerinsky; Jan Handzlik, who recently served as deputy general counsel to the Rampart Independent Review Panel; Loyola law professor Laurie Levenson, who collaborated on the 2000 report on the Rampart scandal that had been commissioned by the police union; Stephen A. Mansfield, a former federal prosecutor who served as deputy general counsel for the Rampart Independent Review Panel; Andrea S. Ordin, a former U.S. attorney; Carol A. Sobel, who worked for the American Civil Liberties Union in Los Angeles for more than 20 years; Maurice Suh, a former assistant U.S. attorney who specialized in government corruption and fraud; Edgar Twine, a hearing examiner for the Police Commission and a civilian member of the LAPD Board of Rights.

The scandal broke in September 1999 after ex-Officer Rafael Perez told authorities as part of a plea deal that he and other anti-gang and narcotics officers in the Rampart Division had routinely planted evidence, framed suspects and covered up unjustified shootings by police.

Link: http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-panel22jul22,1,7582602.story?coll=la-headlines-california

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