Decisions at the Oakland Police Department must be approved by a court-appointed panel, after a federal judge expressed "disbelief" over the department's decade-long failure to institute several court-ordered reforms.
After the "Riders" scandal, in which officers were found guilty of planting drugs on suspects, a federal judge ordered the department to undergo a series of changes. These changes have yet to be made, Judge Thelton Henderson wrote on Tuesday evening, which makes OPD "woefully behind its peers around the state and nation," the Bay Citizen reported.
The court-appointed monitors who are in charge of observing these changes and reforms in action must now be consulted before the department can make certain decisions, ranging from disciplinary actions, promotions, equipment purchases, and decisions about policing like Mayor Jean Quan's plan to boost cop presence in the city's most-troubled blocks, according to the Bay Citizen.
City staff are still digesting the report on Wednesday, according to reports. Police officials, in both headquarters and the union, did not comment.
Chief Howard Jordan will be required to huddle up with the court monitors before making a move. If the monitors and the chief disagree, the court may order the department to comply with the monitor's decision. If the court is unsatisfied, the department could eventually come under federal control.
Judge Henderson has been warning for months that OPD could be put in receivership if the reform standards are not met.