An official monitor says the Los Angeles Police Department is moving toward “substantial compliance” with a list of reforms, says the Los Angeles Times. The came from Michael Cherkasky, named by a federal judge to study how well the department, under pressure from the U.S. Justice Department, is improving operations. Cherkasky was appointed after the Rampart scandal, in which former cop Rafael Perez said that he and other officers had planted evidence, framed suspects, and covered up unjustified shootings.
The department faces a June 15 deadline to make “genuine and good-faith efforts” to make key changes, from the tracking of citizen complaints and use of informants to supervision of undercover units and investigations of officer-involved shootings and other use-of-force incidents. “We remain optimistic that full compliance with the consent decree will be achieved,” Cherkasky said.
The report was the 10th since L.A. signed a settlement with the U.S. Justice Department after the agency said LAPD had engaged in a pattern of civil rights violations. The department must measure up to benchmarks in 140 categories. Cherkasky cited compliance or significant improvements in key areas. They include:
• Better investigations into incidents in which officers use force.
• Creation of accurate logs to track incidents in which officers cause serious injuries – such as gunshot wounds – that require hospitalization.
• Emergence of the audit division as a key to reform, citing its reviews of gang units and of times when officers stop and question citizens.