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Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Independent Police Monitor weighs intervention in consent decree

Posted By on Tue, Aug 7, 2012 at 2:50 PM

Ursula Price, director of community relations for New Orleans Independent Police Monitor Susan Hutson, tells Gambit that the office is considering filing a motion to intervene in the federal New Orleans Police Department consent decree litigation.

"Nothing is set in stone, but we are looking at the possibility," Price said.

Hutson, whose office was created to oversee NOPD, previously worked in the Los Angeles Police Department Office of Inspector General while the LAPD was under a consent decree. The LAPD OIG was an active component in ensuring consent decree compliance. Hutson's office was widely expected to be a major part of the negotiation and implementation of the NOPD agreement.

However, as Hutson wrote in a statement shortly after the July release of the proposed decree, her office was not given access to talks between NOPD and the U.S. Department of Justice.

"We don't know what to fully expect from this consent decree because we haven't seen it. We had hoped to be a part of negotiations, to give meaningful input to the city or at least to the written version before it was signed. That didn't happen, but regardless of the outcome, we will do our best to perform our function as the public mandated," the statement read.

Hutson has until 11:59 p.m. today to submit a motion to intervene. Two other groups, the Fraternal Order of Police and Community United for Change, have already submitted motions. Update: Tom Gogola of the Lens reports via Twitter that the Police Association of New Orleans also plans to file a motion to intervene later today.

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