I have great respect for the integrity and good faith of the Police Commission and its president, Gerald Chaleff. We are pleased to see some movement from the Commission on police reform, but this proposal is still no substitute for the creation of a truly independent panel. The Police Commission has proposed assembling a group of experts to help it review the Board of Inquiry report, and, eventually, discuss ideas for reform. Essentially, this group's mandate and the parameter of its inquiry will be set by the Commission, and to a large extent by the Board of Inquiry report itself.
The Police Commission is part of the department and part of the problem. It can no more be given the sole responsibility for examining itself than could Chief Parks.
The way to real reform is through an independent civilian inquiry - just as the way to clean police practices is through meaningful, on-going civilian oversight. The Commission's report says that this is their defining moment, but the defining moment for the Commission came a long time ago, when the LAPD dug in its heels against the civilian review process. Now, nothing short of a truly independent panel will get the people of Los Angeles the civilian oversight mechanism and the police department they deserve.