LOS ANGELES, Calif. – A federal judge today expressed concern that the Los Angeles Police Department continues to be out of compliance with key provisions of a federal consent decree imposed in the wake of the Rampart corruption scandal. Judge Gary Feess stopped short of extending the federal oversight that the decree mandates, but Feess agreed with the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California that until the conditions of the decree are fully met, it is unlikely it could be legally lifted. He is expected to render a final ruling in the coming weeks.
The following statement can be attributed to ACLU/SC Staff Attorney Peter Bibring.
"We are pleased the court recognized the progress the LAPD has made but focused on the larger question at hand: Whether it’s appropriate to lift the decree when the department has not complied with all of its terms most importantly the non discrimination provisions."
"Over the past years, the consent decree has been the engine for LAPD reform, so as not to repeat the nightmares of Watts, Rodney King and Rampart. With the monitor’s finding that the department has not yet fully complied with the decree—including specifically its policies and practices toward communities of color—now is not the time to prematurely terminate what is working to bring order to our city. When it can be confidently said that citizens of color are not overstopped, overfrisked and overarrested by the LAPD for no other reason than their race, it will be time to end the decree."
The ACLU/SC is counsel for community groups who intervened in the case.