With both the public and police officers fed up with investigations into Los Angeles police shootings that sometimes take a year or more, the city’s police commission approved measures yesterday that could cut three months off the process, the Los Angeles Times reports. The panel approved a set of changes, including the purchase of digital tape recorders, more help from civilian employees to reduce the workload, and an increased emphasis on internal discipline inquiries.
“We are looking at a system that is broke,” said John Mack, commission president. “It strings everyone along” He cited the long-running investigation into the case of Devin Brown, 13, who was shot to death by an officer as the boy backed a stolen car toward a police car. Yesterday’s action is the latest sign that Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa’s new commission will be more of an activist body than its predecessors. Commission Vice President Alan Skobin said a one-year statute of limitations for reviews of police shooting cases by the panel is barely being met and that the commission is often forced to rush its work.