Today the ACLU of Southern California called on Mayor Riordan to establish immediately an independent body empowered with broad investigative and subpoena powers to conduct a comprehensive investigation of the Los Angeles Police Department.

"This newest corruption scandal has the potential to undo any progress made in restoring public confidence in the LAPD since the Rodney King beating." said ACLU-SC Associate Director Elizabeth Schroeder. "Mayor Riordan has been tough on crime: now is the time for him to be equally tough on police corruption."

Though LAPD Chief Bernard Parks has taken appropriate action and set up a Board of Inquiry to conduct a broad-based review of the department, the ACLU believes that the LAPD's internal review mechanism is wholly inadequate to investigate and root out systemic problems. Independent bodies have been used successfully in big cities to conduct thorough investigations into allegations of police abuse and corruption. In 1970 the Mayor of New York City appointed the Knapp Commission to investigate widespread corruption in the NYPD. In 1991 Mayor Bradley appointed the Christopher Commission to investigate the LAPD. Most recently, in 1993, New York City Mayor David Dinkens appointed the Mollen Commission to investigate new allegations of corruption in the NYPD.