Consent Decree Lifted off LAPD. Now What?
Last Friday, a federal judge lifted a federal consent decree that oversaw the Los Angeles Police Department for eight years in order to reform patterns and practice of excessive force, false arrests and unreasonable searches and seizures. It was placed over the agency after the infamous Rampart Scandal in which anti-gang officers working in the named division were implicated in a plethora of crimes over several years. "The decree required the department to undertake dozens of wide-ranging reforms meant to tighten internal checks on officers' conduct and subjected the department to rigorous audits," explained the LA Times. Over the years, many officers and city council field staff said the decree, while good for reform, began to be burdensome and took cops off the street in lieu of paper work.
"The shackles of a necessary but burdensome federal consent decree have been broken, but the benefits of reform have already been realized," Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said, referring to seven straight years of declining crime rate.