The monitor said work had to be done for the department even to achieve the preliminary compliance CPD has reached in just over 50% of the provisions her team has so far reviewed.
Monitoring teams — usually composed of former police officials, lawyers, academics and police-reform consultants — have typically billed local taxpayers between $1 million and $2 million per year. Some consultants have served on federal oversight teams in more than one city at the same time, drawing criticism over conflicts of interest.
“The light at the end of the tunnel is closer and brighter than it has been at any time since I’ve been sitting on the case, and I think that’s a result of the ongoing commitment of every important player to this process,” Judge William Orrick said. However, he added, “more work is needed.”
Well-meaning officers need to be trained that the ‘warrior model’ of policing does not fly in Baltimore; that the city is not made safer by a perception in the community that officers are fearsome and predisposed to use force to solve problems,” U.S. District Judge James Bredar said in a statement.
The consent decree requires officers to document each time they draw their weapons—even if they don't actually fire—and tightens instances in which officers may deploy TASERs. It also requires the department to publish use-of-force data on a monthly basis.
Joining state Attorney General Lisa Madigan in announcing the lawsuit, was Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, reversing his position on whether the city needs strict federal court oversight to make significant changes in the troubled police department.
More than two dozen teams have applied to serve as the independent monitor overseeing police reforms in Baltimore under the consent decree between the city and the U.S. Department of Justice.
In an open revolt, more than 100 Seattle police officers suing to block new use-of-force polices assert that high-level city, police and union officials privately agree with their contention that the court-ordered changes put them and the public in danger.
Late last month 126 officers of the Seattle Police Department decided it was time to stand up and challenge Goliath, in this case the federal government. Instead of a sling and a stone, they wielded a lawsuit.
But in alerting U.S. District Judge Marsha Pechman to the prior finding, the notice gave Pechman an option to keep the case, transfer it to the other judge, U.S. District Judge James Robart, or consult with him on what course to take.
The civil-rights suit, filed in U.S. District Court, contends the changes have effectively created “hesitation and paralysis” among officers, stripping them of their constitutional and legal right to make reasonable, split-second judgments in the line of duty.
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