A federal judge rebuked the Los Angeles Police Department officials yesterday by extending for three years a consent decree that orders reforms aimed at countering a decade of corruption and brutality complaints, reports the Los Angeles Times. U.S. District Judge Gary A. Feess caught city leaders by surprise when he flatly rejected a city’s plea that the five-year agreement – set to expire June 15 – be extended for just two years and narrowed in scope to the 30 percent of reforms not yet enacted. The agreement largely emanated from the 1999 Rampart Division scandal but included elements that critics have been calling for since the 1991 beating of Rodney King.
Feess signaled that he did not trust the LAPD to complete the reforms without supervision by the court and an appointed monitor. While acknowledging that the LAPD had made progress, Feess had sharp words for the city and Justice Department officials who jointly asked for a shorter extension. He was particularly upset that a key part of the reform package – a computer system known as TEAMS II intended to track several forms of officer conduct – may not be operational until September at the earliest.