August 22, 2013
FACT: Bill Bratton pioneered community policing and led extraordinary reductions in crime in Los Angeles – a situation similar to New York City – without the unconstitutional use of stop-and-frisk. His cooperation with an inspector general and emphasis on constitutional community policing are useful models for the NYPD:
But a community policing model that emphasized engagement over containment had little staying power until a federal lawsuit, oversight under a consent decree and the hiring of William J. Bratton as chief. Together with advocates, criminal justice experts and elected officials, and based on the lesson he learned from leading (ironically) the NYPD, Bratton laid out a path for the LAPD that put officers in regular and constructive contact with community leaders, former (and current) gang members, interventionists and other would-be peacemakers. Los Angeles established an Office of Gang Reduction and Youth Development that, among other things, helps neighbors mediate disputes before they become violent turf battles. [Los Angeles Times, “On Policing, New York should look to L.A.,” 8/13/2013]
FACT: Unlike Bill Bratton, Christine Quinn’s choice for police commissioner Ray Kelly has used stop-and-frisk unconstitutionally and has expanded the practice. Ray Kelly’s use and abuse of stop-and-frisk has been declared unconstitutional, and the U.S. Justice Department has imposed a federal oversight for the NYPD.
A federal judge ruled on Monday that the stop-and-frisk tactics of the New York Police Department violated the constitutional rights of minorities in the city, repudiating a major element in the Bloomberg administration’s crime-fighting legacy. […] “I also conclude that the city’s highest officials have turned a blind eye to the evidence that officers are conducting stops in a racially discriminatory manner,” she wrote, citing statements that Mr. Bloomberg and the police commissioner, Raymond W. Kelly, have made in defending the policy. [New York Times, “Judge Rejects New York’s Stop-and-Frisk Policy,” 8/12/2013]
FACT: Federal authorities removed their oversight for the LAPD after Bratton implemented broad reforms and reigned in unconstitutional stop-and-frisks.
He gave attorneys for the city and U.S. government one week to submit a plan to allow the department to be removed from federal oversight while at the same time ensuring there is some form of control in place to ensure those final provisions are implemented. Feess ordered a two-week extension of the 8-year-old consent decree that put the department under the federal government's oversight rather than allowing it to expire on Tuesday. "There has been significant, substantial progress made in terms of improvement in the operations of the department over the past eight years," Feess said, adding most of the credit for that must go to Chief William J. Bratton. "But the question is, how do we transition," the judge added. The Justice Department favors ending the decree, which has been in place since 2001, when the government threatened to the sue over what it said was a pattern of police abuse dating back decades. Under a transfer agreement presented to Feess before the hearing, full oversight of the department would return to the civilian Los Angeles Police Commission and its inspector general. [Associated Press, “Judge wants assurance before ending LAPD oversight,” 6/15/2009]