Oakland PD To Miss Reforms Deadline After Slew of Setbacks
San Jose Mercury News via YellowBrix
March 18, 2011
OAKLAND, CA – The Oakland Police Department, battered by a series of setbacks and layoffs, will miss the deadline on reforms ordered by a federal court after the Riders scandal a decade ago.
The department has completed the majority of the reforms ordered in a 2003 settlement to a lawsuit stemming from the misconduct of four officers who were accused of planting evidence and beating suspects.
But independent monitors reported the department has complied with more than half of 22 outstanding tasks, was in partial compliance with eight others and not in compliance with one task.
The department still faces the risk of sanctions and the appointment of a receiver.
Outstanding tasks involve complaint procedures in the Internal Affairs Department; use of force reporting policies and vehicle stop policies.
“This agreement should have been done a long time ago,” attorney John Burris said Thursday after a marathon meeting with police, the city attorney’s office and the city administrator.
Burris and his fellow attorney, Jim Chanin, brought the lawsuit against the city.
Burris characterized the meeting as a positive work session but also expressed frustration that the reforms have taken so long.
“Our concern is that we’ve been here before.
“The question is whether it will be different this time,” Burris said.
Chief of Police Anthony Batts and Mayor Jean Quan have pledged that they would speed up progress despite instability in the top department leadership that has impeded progress.
The city attorney’s office could not be reached for comment.
The attorneys, police and city officials will meet again in June.