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Federal oversight of LAPD ends

July 20, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
The federal consent decree put in place after the Rampart scandal has ended.It took eight years for the Los Angeles Police Department to free itself from a federal court-regulated consent decree. The court and its monitor felt the LAPD had made sufficient major reforms.

Chief William Bratton has promised there won't be any backsliding on reform.

Police Commissioner John Mack used to be critical of the LAPD.

"A history of hostility, of tension and frankly of an oppressive attitude toward the African American community and many communities of color," said Mack. "That's why today is such a proud and glorious day."

There was a time when former LAPD officer Rafael Perez of the Rampart station was a symbol of all that was wrong. He and his partners shot and framed people like Javier Ovando and robbed others.

The ACLU believes the LAPD has come a very long way, but doesn't want to see the consent decree lifted.

"We wanted to see the consent decree continued. It's been the most effective vehicle for reforming the LAPD that the city's had yet," said Peter Bibring, ACLU Staff Attorney.

"As far as the ACLU, they need to give it up. This department is a model for American policing. And I resent their continuing intent to try to infer that this department engages in racial profiling," said Chief Bratton.

Some of the most contentious areas will remain under court oversight. The areas include biased policing, financial disclosure and managing gang units. The Teams II, which identifies problem officers, will also remain under court oversight.

Many believe the LAPD culture has been forever changed for the better.

"A force that reflects the values, the diversity, the storied past and the bright future of our entire city. Put simply this is no longer your father's LAPD," said Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.

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