Syndicated by: Montana News
LOS ANGELES ––The Los Angeles Board of Police Commissioners announced a series of groundbreaking reforms to strengthen public safety, deepen police-community trust, and establish greater accountability and transparency within the LAPD. The new policies build on the City’s record of national leadership under Mayor Eric Garcetti to advance 21st century policing, end cycles of violence, and confront the legacy of racial discrimination.“We've been given a moment to reimagine public safety in Los Angeles ––and I'm working closely with the Police Commission and the Department to grow a model of just, responsible, and community-centered policing that can be an example for the entire country,” said Mayor Garcetti. “These reforms are extraordinary steps on a longer road to justice.
”The new actions include the formation of the Police Commission’s Advisory Committee on Building Trust and Equity ––a collection of policy specialists, legal experts, and community leaders who will assist the Police Commission in conducting a comprehensive review of LAPD policies and procedures, and deliver recommendations for additional reforms.
The Advisory Committee is expected to focus its work on a review of discipline and accountability; assessing current policing reform proposals being considered throughout the country; evaluating the implementation of past LAPD reform proposals; examining the LAPD’s recruitment, hiring, retention and training process; and analyzing data collection and retention practices.
Committee members include:●Roy Austin,who served in the Obama White House as an advisor on urban affairs, justice, opportunity, and 21st century policing, and served as Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice●Pastor J. Edgar Boyd,leader of First AME Church who founded the South Los Angeles Community Development and Empowerment Corporation (SLACDEC), and served on the Board of the State Racial and Identity Profiling Advisory Board●Yasmin Cader,former Deputy Federal Public Defender in California and New York, and former trial attorney in the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice●Alma Derricks,management and strategy expert who now serves as Founder and Managing Partner of the business consultancy REV●Mary Fulginiti Genow, former ABC national news correspondent who has also worked as a compliance investigator ●Hon. Jay Gandhi, professional mediator and former U.S. Magistrate Judge
●Duane Lyons,former attorney in the U.S. Department of Justice, and a recipient of a commendation from the U.S. Attorney General for his work on civil rights prosecution of officers involved in the Rodney King case●Byron McLain,former President of the Langston Bar Association, and current member of the Board of Directors of Bet Tzedek●Barney Melekian,who led the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) office in the U.S. Department of Justice during the Obama Administration, and previously served as the Police Chief of Pasadena●Hon. Carlos Moreno,former Associate Justice of the California Supreme Court and former U.S. Ambassador to Belize●Kerry O’Neill,who works at UCLA School of Law and serves on the Board of Directors of Chrysalis●Octavio Pedroza,former Commissioner for the L.A. Department of Transportation●Rob Saltzman,former Commissioner on the L.A. Board of Police Commissioners, past commissioner and vice president of the L.A. City Ethics Commission, and former Associate Dean and Professor at USC Gould School of Law●Rasha Gerges Shields,president of the Arab AmericanLawyers Association of Southern California●Mark Yohalem,former attorney in the U.S. Department of Justice who worked on numerous public corruption cases●Stephanie Yonekura, former Acting United States Attorney under President Obama and currently works oncrisis response, compliance, and policy mattersIn conjunction with the work of the Advisory Committee, the Police Commission will organize a series of citywide community meetings to solicit feedback and ideas for reform.
The meetings will be aimed at listening to community groups, social justice advocates, clergy, academics, and other interested community based organizations regarding their concerns and ideas on policing reform.
The Advisory Committee is expected to complete its work by the end of the 2020 calendar year.
The Police Commission also announced new measures to strengthen accountability and transparency ––including an independent review of the LAPD’s response to the protests following the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis. The review will be conducted by the National Police Foundation, an independent, non-partisan organization, and will focus specifically on police tactics, deployment, command and control, and use of munitions between May 29 and June 7.
The National Police Foundation previously conducted detailed reviews of the law enforcement response to the San Bernardino terrorist attack, the Orlando Pulse nightclub attack, the events involving former LAPD Officer Christopher Dorner, and the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland, Florida.
“The Commission is deeply committed to adopting meaningful and transformative reform measures that will build trust among all Angelenos,” said Board of Police Commissioners President Eileen Decker. “The Advisory Committee will provide valuable assistance in accelerating the Commission’s policy work and developing a critical roadmap for future policy reforms.
The independent review of the LAPD’s response to the protests is key to building trust and improving the department’s relationship with the community.
Together these parallel reviews will deliver what Angelenos demand and deserve ––a department that reflects the highest standard of public service.”On top of these critical steps, the Police Commission has finalized reforms announced in June, including a ban on the carotid restraint control hold in training and in practice, the development and implementation of revised in-custody death adjudication protocols, and the permanent discontinuation of the CalGangs Database.
Commissioners also adopted revisions to the LAPD’s Use of Force policy which now requires officers who intentionally point a firearm at a person to report such incidents, and these incidents will now be
included in the Department’s annual year-end Use of Force report. The 2019 annual report can be found here. Officers who are present and observe another officer using unnecessary force are now required to report these incidents to asuperior officer and are now required to intercede when such excessive force is observed.Finally, the Department will submit an annual report on the Use of Force to the California Department of Justice and to the United States Department of Justice, including additional details about the circumstances related to each incident.
“We welcome this opportunity to work with the Board of Police Commissioners and this esteemed Advisory Committee, to build on this Department's decades of historic reform,” said LAPD Chief Michel Moore.
“We are at a crossroads in the evolution of policing and the men and women of this organization embrace a progressive agenda of reforms that further strengthen public trust, increase transparency, and demonstrate accountability.Additionally, the independent and comprehensive study by the National Police Foundation into the actions of the Department leading up to and during the protests following the tragic murder of George Floyd will allow us to gain valuable insights and perspective of what worked, what did not, and recommendations to improve our response in the future."
“Community leaders have been clear: relying on law enforcement to solve the problems created by historical disinvestment in low-income communities and communities of color makes those problems worse,” said Board of Police Commissioners Vice President Shane Murphy Goldsmith.
“These reforms start to undo the harm done by over-policing in those communities, and advance a vision that engages our communities to address their own needs with the right tools for the job.”Under Mayor Garcetti’s leadership, the City of Los Angeles has made sweeping reforms to the LAPD, including mandating training in implicit bias and de-escalation for every officer, establishing nationally-recognized programs to develop long-term relationships between youth and police officers, requiring 8 hours of training for every officer on de-escalation, use of non-lethal force, and other harm-reduction strategies.
Los Angeles also became the first big city to put body cameras on every officer and release videos to the public ––a policy that has become a national model and adopted by the State of California.These reforms have made a measurable impact on public safety across the city: The Department has decreased fatal officer-involved shootings by half; taken more than 43,000 guns off the street; reduced juvenile arrests 85 percent compared to 2010 through diversion programs; expanded the area covered by our Gang Reduction Youth Development programs by 50 percent; and invested in community-based providers that support youth and families and prevent retaliatory violence.