On Friday, Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, announced his intention to seek some strong civilian oversite for the the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department in the form of a citizen oversight commission and an inspector general.
This is, as it turns out, very much in keeping with what the commission unequivocally recommended in its report, and that the commissioners emphasized personally when they each spoke individually.
The Office of Independent Review (OIR) and Special Council Merrick Bobb are not enough, he told me. “They’ve become somewhat toothless.”
What is needed now is fundamental “systemic reform.,” he said. The department needs to transform.
This is from Ridley-Thomas’s statement:
Now that the Citizens’ Commission on Jail Violence has completed its mission, we can be sure of one thing: The Sheriff’s Department cannot police itself.
That is why I will ask the board to make profound structural changes with regard to oversight of the department and create a system for permanent and independent citizen oversight of our jails.
On Tuesday, Oct. 2, I will introduce a Board motion directing the County Counsel and the Chief Executive Officer to assess the viability of establishing both a Citizens Law Enforcement Commission and an Inspector General for the Sheriff’s Dept.
“The commission could be like the LAPD’s police commission or it could be based on another model,” Ridley-Thomas said.
“It’s time. No one should fear it.”