Dear DOJ, We Want Our Police Department Back


It has been over eight years since the Department of Justice forced talked the
Los Angeles Police Department into submitting to a Federal Consent Decree—basically a plea bargain—as a way of avoiding a DOJ lawsuit being filed against the LAPD for “engaging in a pattern or practice of excessive force, false arrests and unreasonable searches and seizures.”

(Not to be mean, but that was a suit they would have lost.)

On Monday, U.S. District Court Judge Gary Feess, who has been overseeing the Consent Decree, will decide whether the LAPD has made sufficient progress in reforming itself for the Consent Decree to be lifted.

I’ll likely have more thoughts on this Monday.
(Clue: The answer is: Yeah. the Decree should definitely be lifted—for among other reasons, Judge Feess really doesn’t like our department. Like a foster parent who was helpful once-upon-a-time during a family crisis, but has now grown abusive, Judge Feess has long ago passed the point of being constructive in helping reform the LAPD. So he needs to give it back to us. Now.)

The Daily News, the LA Times and, naturally, LAPD Chief Bill Bratton, all say, for god’s sake, yes, lift the damn thing.’

The ACLU says no.

A new Harvard study released last Friday says the department has made all kinds of progress (even though there’s more to go).

As I said, I’m in favor of lifting the Decree, but not necessarily for the reasons the others are stating.

More on this from me later. (I’m up to my eyeballs reading student papers.) In the meantime, read the opining from those other folks and tell me what you think.


  • Although my experience with LAPD has just been with the Hollenbeck division I can honestly say not much has changed. At least not in Hollenbeck. I myself have been taken to the factories by CRASH officers. From my experiences, excessive force is an understatement. I do think that there needs to be changes. But thats just my opinion.

  • Pinche LAPD are racist, xenophobes who use draconian methods when arresting the veteranos de Highland Parque. The LAPD has been harassing and terrorizing the surenos for many years, this has got to stop !!!!!!

    We need lots of lana to be spent in Highland Parque so things improve, we need all the lana fron the west-side robber barons !!!!!

    Free SanFer, Spook, Sniper, Flaco and Loco NOW !!!!

  • You tell em Don or should I say Mr.Culo? I got your back baby. LAPD needs to leave all those HOT gangstas alone. But if they need some help frisking those big, bad cholo’s I would like to valunteer my services.

  • Last night David Carradine, was found dead in a Bangkok hotel room closet with a rope tied to his neck and genitals.
    Something is very strange and very wrong here! Where are our Christian values?

  • There is no doubt LAPD has come a long way from Gates and Parks era. Many of my friends live in Boyle Heights “Hollenbeck Division.” The Senior citizens will tell you they now can walk the streets of their own neighborhood, go to the store, go to the park all because the CLEAR officers have done a remarkable job cleaning up the gangsters who use to terrorize and threaten them. Hollenbeck has 6 homicides this year compared to last year over 13. Hollenbeck is one of the LAPD divisions that has great community support. They marched in 2002 in support of LAPD to get more officers when they were low. They speak out in support at city council. 83% of people polled by the Harvard study all say this is a much better and improved LAPD. Unfortunately, they will always have people who refuse to get with the program and whine and complain.

  • Well, I look at it this way. If you had a bad experience with the poice department, that means you did something wrong in the first place. We all, including the DOJ, need to stop whining about law enforcemet. They arn’t here for all the reasons I hear the “special interest” public, including the LA Times, complain of (IE; they were rude, when I ran hey hurt me, when I shot at them they shot me, when I fought them they hurt me), No crap, if your a moron and do those things just adove, news flash, you shoud get hurt!!!! If you are looking at this comment, and your offended, then it probbly applies to you…….

  • And Don Coulo, your comment is off subject, and it it completely crazy the LA Times lets it here on this page.

  • I’ve learned to regard Woody’s posts with a healthy skepticism and maybe a little smelling salt as preparation to even reading them, but his post @ (4) IS disconcerting as it comes from Georgia’s Secretary of State, not some Limbaugh or Colter acolyte. TOTALLY OFF TOPIC THOUGH, but makes no sense especially in light of Obama having required anyone attending his fundraiser here in Beverly Hills last week to show proof of legal residency or citizenship.

    The Consent Decree is costing L A millions that should be spent on actual law enforcement and I agree, heave ho way past time to go, given Bratton’s record in recent years.

  • So now we know that Woody is part of a right-wing organization (like the John Birch society) that sees itself as implementing changes to bring the Country “back on track” to Moral Majority values. This group has a Kinko’s self-serving type “bible” that spells out the Bread and Circus allusion to the satisfaction of the “Our family” sick Cult, that sends its ‘bots’ and mercenaries (like Woody) out into to the World as Trolls, to spread the Word. Evil triumphs only when good people do nothing.

  • Frank, yeah, the “vast right-wing conspiracy” thinks that voters should be qualified and legal citizens. Enforcement of voter verification would hurt the chances of Democrats who rely on vote fraud.

    Well, the Justice Department has gone overboard in regulating the LAPD for only eight years. Therefore, imagine our dismay in having a cowardly Congress and the DOJ regulating every step of our voting procedures with provisions of the 1965 Voting Rights Act from its passage in 1965 to a so-far extended year 2032 — a total of sixty-seven years and covering generations born long after the accused generation has died out!!

    I still think that passing a literacy test is a legitimate requirement to vote – which is not a “right” by the way — but, having literate voters also hurts the Democrats.

    The rest of the nation thinks that “reconstruction” never ended and that certain states have to remain under the control of the federal government while others don’t. Some states are “more equal” than others.

    Some of you worry about control of the LAPD. You should worry about abuses by Congress and Obama’s Department of Justice in ALL areas – such as dismissing charges, for which a default judgment had been issued, against armed, militant Black Panthers blocking a polling place (“you are about to be ruled by the black man, cracker”), and then AG Eric Holder intentionally ignoring the Constitution on D.C. voting right legislation.

    Yeah, with influence like they have, the “vast right-wing conspiracy” needs to be a real worry to you and those who count on the “bread and circuses.”

    Considering reality, you’re smear attempt against me is full of empty words. At least you didn’t use four-letter words, as the left typically does.

    Now, let me get back to my guns and religion.

  • “There’s a lotta things about me you don’t know anything about, Virginia. Things you wouldn’t understand. Things you couldn’t understand. Things you shouldn’t understand. You don’t wanna get mixed up with a guy like me. I’m a loner, Virginia. A rebel.”

    Oh please Woodrow! You sound like a complete fool. What you just uttered sounds like a script Bogart would say to a young Bacall. Give us a break Woody.

  • Expand the Consent Decree to all of society and our economic system. Poverty and unemployment is highest for youth of color. Economic disparity is widest between youth of color and whites. Reform and strengthen opportunity for poor youth in education, renew Affirmative Action, fix our dysfunctional, corrupt economic system. When the easiest “legit” jobs for youth to get are killing people on foreign soil, and prison labor—something is wrong. Extend the Decree from the police to policy makers, bureaucrats, and bankers. We must hold our corrupt, criminal economic system and its henchmen accountable if we want to stop the cycle of gang and police violence. The cruel injustice of an Apartheid system is sure to bring violence, which shows us that something is wrong.

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