A federal judge has given the Los Angeles Police Department until May 1 to show why a court consent decree mandating police reforms should not be extended for at least two years. U.S. District Judge Gary Allen Feess asked the city for evidence that it has resolved issues in nine key areas of concern, including discriminatory traffic stops, search and arrest procedures and development of a computerized system, called TEAMS II, to track problem officers. In 2001, the city reluctantly entered into the decree after revelations of misconduct and civil rights abuses during the Rampart Division police scandal.
The decree is to expire on June 15, and an extension would represent a disappointing setback for the department. “It appears to the court that major tasks established by the consent decree remain uncompleted, most notably the implementation of the TEAMS II system,” Feess said. The city estimates that it spends from $30 million to $50 million annually to comply with the decree. An extension would be “more of a black eye” for Police Chief William Bratton ‘because he came in as a reformer,” said Jaime Regalado, director of the Pat Brown Institute at Cal State L.A.