Judge Threatens Oakland Police Department With Federal Takeover
OAKLAND (KCBS) – Dissatisfied with the compliance rate of the Oakland Police Department to mandated reforms, a judge says the scandal-plagued department will go under federal control if it fails to quickly make good on reforms agreed to nine years ago.
As part of the settlement in the ‘Riders’ police misconduct case of 2003, the department consented to numerous reforms to be monitored by an independent panel. Judge Thelton Henderson wrote in a periodic review this week that the department remains “woefully behind its peers around the state and nation,” and that he can’t believe the department still hasn’t fully complied nearly a decade later.
KCBS’ Holly Quan Reports:
Henderson also increased the oversight authority of a court-appointed monitor in a scathing five-page ruling Tuesday.
Henderson said Oakland Police Chief Howard Jordan must first consult with the monitor before making important department decisions. Those include promoting and disciplining officers and changing policing policy and tactics.
Mayor Jean Quan agreed Wednesday that the city was moving too slowly to improve the department. But, she said, Oakland’s new leaders are committed to making it happen.
Civil rights attorney Jim Chanin helped draw up the original agreement. He is asking the judge to consider moving forward on a federal takeover.
“I view this as a last chance agreement for OPD before those proceedings are begun,” said Chanin. “We do not want to see the Oakland Police Department put into a receivership, but on the other hand, if it has to be, then it will be.”
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