|Tough times for Big Easy cops|
|Written by APB Staff|
Recently, federal law enforcement officials released findings of a 10-month investigation into the New Orleans Police Department. The Justice Department says their inquiry paints the picture of a "profoundly and alarmingly troubled" law enforcement agency according to an in-depth story in The New York Times. Investigators say the investigation has determined the need for yet another series of "wholesale reforms" at the beleaguered police department. The report describes the NOPD as severely dysfunctional on every level.
Investigators say they have determined that NOPD officers "regularly use excessive force on civilians."
DOJ officials also say that the agency fails to investigate serious crimes and has almost a nonexistent system of accountability for police officers.
Using the report as a guideline, federal and local officials will now enter into negotiations leading to a consent decree.
"There is nobody in this room that is surprised by the general tenor and the tone of what this report has to say," New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu said at a news conference attended by city and federal officials.
Landrieu publicly invited federal intervention in the Police Department just days after his inauguration in May.
Police Chief Ronal Serpas said he fully embraced the report and would be go over its findings with senior leadership to get a head start on reforms.
Serpas has been granted more flexibility by the Civil Service Commission to overhaul the personnel in the department's upper ranks.
The DOJ report does not address in detail any of the nine or more federal criminal investigations into the department.