The Police Commission has assembled a well-respected group of people to conduct a review of the Los Angeles Police Department. Still, this falls far short of a truly independent commission.
The mayor and the city council have to take responsibility for ensuring that a truly independent investigation into the LAPD is undertaken. The only possible means to regain vital public trust in the police department is to create a truly independent panel that is not under the aegis of the Police Commission, and does not have to clear its recommendations and report through the Commission.
To be considered truly independent, the panel's autonomy from the Police Commission must be guaranteed. That means its report must be released directly to the public. A reporting structure that is vetted by the present Police Commission and its police department is not independent.
Limiting the investigation to the LAPD also falls far short. The independent body that Angelenos need and deserve should have a broad mandate to examine the entire criminal justice system, including the district attorney's office, the city attorney's office,
and a court system that appears in many cases to have lost its devotion to impartiality and justice.
It is also critical to set procedures in place to ensure that the independent commission's recommendations are implemented.