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Judge chastises LAPD for consent decree 'failure'

The Associated Press

LOS ANGELES- A federal judge scolded city officials for failing to meet key provisions of a 2001 court consent decree to reform the Police Department.

The decree was the result of a settlement with the Justice Department and was designed to correct conditions that led to police corruption scandals involving officers beating and framing suspects and stealing evidence.

U.S. District Judge Gary A. Feess said city officials were trying to "gut" a key provision and warned at a hearing Tuesday that he would likely extend the decree beyond its June 15 expiration date.

The judge chastised the LAPD for failing to implement a computer system required by the decree to serve as an early warning system by tracking officers' use of force, pursuits, collisions, citizen complaints and civil claims.

"There is no way the consent decree can expire given the failure," Feess said.

Gerald L. Chaleff, the LAPD's civilian manager of the consent decree, said at least 122 of 146 provisions for which the Police Department is solely responsible have been "substantially complied with."

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