It’s been widely reported that the Los Angeles Police Commission contracted with the National Police Foundation to write a report on the Los Angeles Police Department‘s behavior during the recent May/June 2020 uprising in response to the May 2020 murder of George Floyd. The Commission and LAPD have been busy supplying the NPF with all the evidence they could ever desire.
Not quite so widely reported on is the Commission’s Advisory Committee on Building Trust and Equity. This group was convened in July 2020 to report back to the Commission with recommendations for reforming LAPD, Their report isn’t out yet, but recently I obtained a copy of a draft. It’s a very mainstream set of useless shopworn proposals that, in the words of renowned tweetist @banannaise, “mostly boils down to … tell[ing] the cops to be nice to people and … to stop breaking the law.”
Which was predictable given the Commission’s deferential attitude towards LAPD along with the unstated but obvious charge to the Committee to smooth things over as much as possible. But the fact that the Committee’s conclusions are predetermined doesn’t imply that they’re not committed to making the process look as valid as possible2 nor that much of their work, even if done in the service of appearing valid, is worthless.
As part of this work, then, the Committee is looking in detail at a huge range of existing police reform proposals, many of which LAPD has already tried, some voluntarily and some by court order. They’ve collected these proposals in a number of spreadsheets, also including LAPD-specific analyses, and I recently obtained copies of a number of these documents (and published them here on the Internet Archive).
Regardless of the value of the Committee’s final report3 these records are very interesting. Two of them, this 25 page list of LAPD reforms recommended by the 1991 Christopher Commission and this 74 page list of all LAPD reforms required by the 2001 Rampart Scandal Consent Decree, are extremely interesting.4 You can also view these files as HTML in your web browser. Click here for the Christopher Commission reforms and here for the Consent Decree reforms.
Continue reading More Records From The Police Commission Committee On Building Trust And Equity — Including Eileen Decker’s 25 Page Discussion Of Reforms Recommended By The Christopher Commission In 1991 — With Her Thoughts On Current Compliance And Potential Improvements — And 74 Pages On The 2001 Consent Decree Reforms — And Much More — Demonstrating The Police Commission’s Compliance Check Methodology — Which Is To Count A Reform As Implemented If LAPD Adopts A Policy — Or Requires More Training — Or Introduces Another Level Of Review — Without Looking Independently At What The Police Are Actually Doing — This Won’t Change LAPD — As The Forty Years Of Reform History In These Documents Shows Very Clearly