Justice Dept. wants Inglewood Police to adopt reforms

The U.S. Justice Department, finding flaws in how the Inglewood Police Department oversees use-of-force incidents and investigates complaints against officers, wants it to adopt reforms, the Los Angeles Times reported today.

In an ongoing comprehensive review, Justice Department officials found that Inglewood's policies on the use of force are poorly written and legally inadequate, the newspaper reported.

In a letter to the city's mayor in December, federal officials called for changes in the way the department trains and investigates its officers, according to the Times.

The Justice Department launched its civil rights prop after a series of officer-involved shootings in 2008.

A Times investigation published more than two months before the federal inquiry began found that Inglewood officers repeatedly resorted to physical or deadly force against unarmed suspects. The Times also raised questions about how the department investigated its officers' use of force.

In the 33-page letter to the city's mayor, the Justice Department acknowledged that the department had begun revising its polices but said some proposed reforms didn't go far enough, the Times reported.

Among the Justice Department's conclusions:

  • Rules on deadly forces are vague and inconsistent with U.S. Supreme Court guidelines, and most Inglewood police department policies and procedures "are outdated," federal officials said, according to the Times.
  • The department provides its officers with "little direction" on when to use electric Taser weapons, whose use should be prohibited on restrained suspects.
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