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Judge delays ending LAPD consent decree

By John Rogers
Associated Press

LOS ANGELES — A federal judge says the Los Angeles Police Department has made great strides in reforming itself, but he's not ready to free it from U.S. Justice Department oversight until several key issues are resolved.

U.S. District Judge Gary Feess on Monday extended the existing consent decree for two more weeks rather than allowing it to expire on Tuesday.

The Justice Department favors ending the decree, which has been in place since 2001, when the government threatened to sue the city over what it called a pattern of police abuse dating back decades.

But the judge wants assurances that several final reforms are carried out, such as installing surveillance cameras in patrol cars.

Police Chief William J. Bratton says he's cautiously optimistic a plan can be worked out to end the decree.

Copyright 2009 Associated Press

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