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WWL>Topics>>12-3 3:10pm Angela, NOPD Consent decree

12-3 3:10pm Angela, NOPD Consent decree

Dec 3, 2013|

New Orleans Independent Police Monitor, Susan Hutson, talks about the consent decree and concern that the department may be moving too fast toward compliance.

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Automatically Generated Transcript (may not be 100% accurate)

Well we're shifting gears again this time from men's health with doctor -- bomber so appreciative of him coming in. And also for the many men who called him because. I think hopefully he helped you. And we hope that this next hour that if you wanna call we're going to be talking about. Our police department and the operations around it. That if you have any questions or any comments that you feel free to call as well and that numbers 260087. Well Susan Hudson came to New Orleans three years ago to become new orleans' first independent police monitor. And in the minds of men -- the creation of her office was a long time coming. With the controversial history the NO PD has needed many independent eyes. Susan Hudson is with -- today to not only talk about her office and one is working on. But also to discuss a totally separate monitor. The office of the consent decree monitor which is a federal one which released its first quarterly report yesterday. On the status of that assignment. So first of all and welcome your first time on our show thank you very much for coming and thank you Angela -- -- -- would've been a -- for a long time so I'm excited to be here thank you. We do have a lot talk about in its in its not strange because you are well aware of this report that came out. Is the federal report the federal monitor. Exactly and that's the courts monitor they work for the court. On their eyes and ears of the court they look at NO PD reviewed them audit them to see if they're doing what the consent decree says they're supposed to do. And so this is their first quarterly report that an issue many of these. And they're just gonna basically document how they are critiquing the NO PD and how will be in a -- doing. So let's go back in time a little bit just for -- and it isn't where we always hear the word consent decree but really what is it. It's a court order it's a court order it's at an agreed to judgment between the city in the -- Department of Justice the United States government. And it all stems out of a law that congress passed an early ninety's which gave the Department of Justice the right to investigate cities for. Violating the constitutional rights of its citizens there specifically -- police departments so the Justice Department conducted an investigation on in 2010. And they wrote a report in march of 2011 that said here's all the things that are wrong with you know PD they're violating the constitutional. Rights of people they arrest. The stopping and frisking people and violation of the constitution. On the not investigating themselves the way they need to investigate themselves such as complaints or use -- support such as the Glover Danziger incident. So they tunnel at least findings and then they said the entered into negotiations with the city. Too bright a consent decree or an agreed judgment on how they're gonna fix all these problems so that's what a consent decree a court order. In agreement between two parties as to as to how they're gonna -- prepare something war reforms and the. So the first quarterly report comes out and I'm gonna generalize but in essence it was sang. Things are moving along there was one hitch. They were the department was criticized the city was criticized for sort of jumping gone. Right so that they vote that they have to get. On the changes to some Paula a lot of policies and procedures were approved by the department of justice and the courts monitor before they can implement them. An -- to their credit you know PD went ahead and review all their policies and procedures that created committee stood to change them. And they came out with a new policy and procedure problem was that got -- To use that to do that extra step of the final step which is to get approval from DOJ. And the courts monitors are now. They've got to go back in and get that approval. So the got to go back get approval I sort of sensed from wanna around that town. They may have to change again. Yet it's from what the monitors -- there's some confusion about the policies on so you have a policy that in general says. I'll give -- example racial profile. There are biased policing or something like that ended the general policy is going to be we will not treat people. Differently based on race sex orientation nationality. Or anything like that. And the new policy has to say OK when you stop people and has to be the legal costs it has been more specific instructions. To the people on the ground to the patrol officers about how you stop people without violating the constitution. So they're saying that there was a little confusion in the way these policies and procedures were put together that didn't make that is clear to the people on the so. In some case so so that after the back and change some and and that's good for the you know -- that's good for the officers out on the street to. What else did you glean from this report I'm very positive report C conceded the on the city in the -- PD I'm moving forward and another thing that monitor mentioned is that. The compliance -- To be that deputy superintendent of the bureau. That is -- very vital bureau what they do is they make sure among other things but most importantly but the department is on track to comply with this consent decree. If they don't they don't get to get out of the consent decree it keeps going and that's more money. And more time and more distrust of the you know PD so you want to have somebody making sure that they -- complying with. And that the various changes as we had the police chief we've had some of the police union people not and they are still some. Very controversial things. Concerning changes than one of them being the detail. They call of the office of secondary employment but. And that's we noticed details and there just seems to be some head butting stale is that under the purview of this federal. Monitor the details system is very much front and center in this consent decree. They have to revise their policies and procedures they had to create the officer police secondary employment which they did. And -- alimony is in charge of that. And have to policies and procedures in place which have not yet been approved by the court asking the courts monitor in the Department of Justice to make sure that officers. Or there's been an issue with officers being more concerned about their. So that's one of the issues and they wanna mention The Beatles are fairly distributed. And they wanna make sure that DT at the you don't have an officer supervising. The supervisor. During their regular working hours but on the detailed that the lower level officers supervising Syria a police officer supervising sergeant on a -- You don't wanna have that kind of thing going down because then that makes it more difficult for the sergeant to do the regular work in the regular disappointing of that officer during regular. I think. Argument among many officers I've spoken to and we -- on the show is you know we didn't look at it is broken why are we trying to fix something. When when perhaps from the public perspective. It wasn't as transparent I think it was not exactly which are saying. They make more money. Are on a detail. They're working ungodly hours in some cases. And this is a way to to make it look clear make -- look clear when you despite a good point people working a lot of hours on details. That makes you tired when you go to do your regular work in the work for a -- and the general public so they have to ration those hours as well when look at the number of hours they're spending. And I went to a shooting in once it was 2010. And an officer involved shooting we rollout to all shootings in which officers discharged that weapon. And went out to the shooting and the officer that was involved was so tired he was so dead tired after working in detail. On that is judgment could have been could not have been. Great during that incident because he was just so -- so that can be an incident. I can be a problem for them when they're on the job -- got to make sure that it. But their their primary assignment which is protecting its public the entire public comes -- and then details second. On another setup this office and have hired a staff. And that complaint by officers. Is that but now they've had these long term relationships with some of their details not all bets on. And they're going to be rotated that was the big. Oh my gosh I've worked ten years for this company as a detail they trust me another system I mean there -- merits of what they're sank. And yet. Now I'm going to be rotated often had to start all over again I wonder if there's a compromised. Well we did go talk to. The director of the opposite -- secondary -- mr. Salman. And recently did that was recently this summer we were granted by the state legislator on investigatory powers over details. So you went to start talked opening a dialogue about that it's talked to him about what's going on with the office and one of the things he says about that concern is that when they rotate. Officers in and out. They won't wrote it won't be like EF six officers working in detail and -- that the same time. -- had six officers learning how to do -- blurring the and then that rotate them out slowly so that a new person comes in and learns from experience people additionally officers will be able to put in for the details they've done on. In the past they just be able to stay there forever. Have you heard anything on. The I mean the offices now in the process and it is a process of getting companies who have used details to sign up with it. It is gonna cost more. Yet there's definitely administrative costs of that and so now the city's looking at that we have to recoup the costs of officers using cars and equipment and a PD equipment. So that makes good sense you don't want to out -- you know prices and you don't use in a PDA although it. So they have to make a balance there so hopefully that will be something that's palatable to the Pope. But it is that this is now set in stone I mean this is the way it's going to be. The police -- cops a -- secondary important yes but my ambition is that the final policies and procedures have not been approved yet so we saw some -- were to be done. Our guest today is Susan Hudson who -- think. New orleans' first independent police monitor but what we've really been talking about is the federal quarterly report that just came out from a federal monitor. And if you wanna continue that and but also talk about how down your office is going to be working Memphis yeah and we just want to encourage anyone to come out tonight and tomorrow night on the consent decree monitor is going to be holding some public meetings about its first report. -- the persist tonight from 530 to 7 PM at dissipate Craig elementary school at 1423. Saint Philip. And that's 530 tonight at the Joseph they -- -- elementary school. And then tomorrow night they'll be out in the east and that's from 730 to 9 PM. And that's going to be yet saint Maria go ready senator. It's 7300 Crowder. So against 730 tomorrow night at Sapient Mary -- a -- a senator you know I really think he needs to be said that this is our police department. And we had some outstanding people who work for that police department is we do but we have also had a history. Of things that have embarrassed us. If it took a federal. Decree to say we gonna get it right. And were in the process of getting it right. There is an opportunity for Republican -- and it isn't just about public whining it's about public saying this is what we want we want top notch. And again and I do believe the majority of the police farm and his top notch I just fine. You one thing that the Justice Department -- they were investigated is that training has been lacking so these officers just need more training and that's this disk consent decree requires that. So on yet the public needs to be involved if you read their quarterly your first quarterly report that the monitor wrote the consent decree monitor wrote. They talk about Dick talking to the public talking to police officers riding with police officers finding out what's going on out there. So don't miss your opportunity in the public to come forward and tell them what you're seeing what you're hearing. Now they don't take complaints only our office does that and on the -- little bit more about that just -- but. You can still come to dominate these types of things are going down in my community and that begun to listen to that and they could look for that when they're reviewing the police department. So please go out tonight it's morning -- it -- okay now how does your office let's go back to you were hired several years ago. Before this dissent decree came out. Yes -- like that in June 2010. And we worked out an agreement with actually the second least monitor appointed to the first left after just a couple of weeks was so there never was a permanent head here. Until I got here. And then we worked out an agreement with the police department for us to share information to the office hadn't done in a PD and that please my results did not share information. So we worked updated agreement which allows us to do our job which is to take complaints from the public and police officers. On to review those complaints to review complaint investigations and the whole disciplinary system. To -- -- it's fair an actor doing a good job we want to make -- officers are getting -- joke okay. Yeah you beat somebody down but there's going to be no consequence to -- their watch over to make sure that type of thing doesn't happen. We also respond to all officer involved shootings are winning any deadly force is used so that's a big difference from before now you have a set a civilian dies at the scene of the shooting. And of course we're very acutely aware that need to be there -- the shootings because of the past history the tolerance that's the Danziger it's meant so. We're notified within an hour of anything going down and we get Tennessee. -- -- -- we look at their policies and procedures as well to see what's going on we looked last year at stop and this year the beginning in April of this year at stop and frisk. We looked at how they're stopping people how their policies and procedures are allowing them -- people in a manner that we didn't think his court right when it drops it's quite. I understood the Fourth Amendment so. We look at some of the same things that the consent decree monitor does but ours is by ordinance and theirs is according to the consent -- So when you let's say you a hypothetical you find the circumstances where the officers aren't. Stopping people correctly. What power do you have at that point. Well we we can connect to report and review like we did last year one of things we wanted to do was pull the data and look exactly how -- they're stopping and why they say they're stopping -- -- its constitutional. We couldn't do that because the data was. What did the inspector general found that the -- was in ballots we could use it. But if you find out somebody's violating the constitution that could be a complaint investigation and the extensive. But most likely it's train you need to train the officers better so that they're not violating the constitution. I'm one of things officers told us last year was that. On there is a pressure on them to produce numbers so. I have to show them being productive -- I'm stopping a number of people out there well that can lead to bad stop so we would you know we wanna do with the department about that as well so. We are advisory. But. I think there's a lot of power in our ability to publicly report. Which the -- -- monitor doesn't have the same powers that we didn't actually speak out in public so. -- public meetings and -- information but -- not -- press conferences or anything like that without approval of the court and the city and the -- So I'm so we have the power to actually. Get into these files and look at them. To answer your question -- getting around to it eventually answering it but this power in in transparency and being able to see what they do. I know that there's been problems in the past and being able to get into an UPD files and see what they're doing how they're investigating. Themselves we can do we do them on a daily basis do you get a sense that it chief surpassed really wants this to work. Oh absolutely -- I know chief is gonna wanna house. A failure mark on his record. If you don't comply with this consent decree they will say that -- that you're failing to comply nobody wants that as the head of any office or department. So I think he definitely does want it to work. I think there are differences of opinion. Between the city and the Department of Justice about how it changes should be made. The belt they'll get get -- and try and worked those out -- the candidate not the judge -- side. We're talking about. The new report that came out yesterday on the consent -- but we're also talking about her office says police monitor. Amber talk about the bigger picture of trying to get our police department to be the very best it can be. And we have a caller we can go to look Kwanzaa from new world it's. Hello. So my clients -- you do my own doing fine I have one question for you okay. I understand your your independent. Beauty and the bull market. Like the respected general. Independent. But recently trying terror are the council wanted to put 200 evolved this. There's so you'll working on -- you know when it sort of state that you all are independent is that correct. Yet there's been a dispute recently a legal dispute about who controls the office of the independent police monitor. Under our legal my legal on opinion is that gone that the ordinance is very clear the police monitor conducts all the operations within that -- it's not the inspector general. We have separate ordinances. A separate duties separate standards. So and and again independent police monitors so I've always maintained that our work product is independent. And that it is it's conducted by the actual police monitors -- not the inspector general's office inspector general and Kosovo hired -- essentially. Yet it's -- it's -- it's. The hybrid. So we were put up under the inspector general's office to protect it and -- tremendous amount of power and that's a good thing to look at any kind of problems in the city. So we follow almost all IG policies and procedures. Calm personality are true but. When it comes to the actual work product that's my Bailiwick -- that and I am responsible for that then so that's that's what -- maintained and I'm I'm certainly aware of quantum was talking about some harsh words between the two. -- between the two review. And Crocker telling yourself about that situation there's sort of RU coming. To a meeting of the minds. We've been trying to work it out without a member of the community helping us with the league and member of the legal community and so we're trying to work that out. On because we don't need to be fighting each other -- and disputes with each other we need to be handling our business. And so we're trying to work -- out so we can get to work and do the things that we need to do and have adequate funding and support. For what we need to do on their three people to look at over a thousand police officers that's kind of tough for us I'm gonna hire an office manager. At the end of this month the penalty for people to handle -- -- to ask. -- and we just can't do that so. We're trying to get that agreement worked out so that we can be adequately resource. And that your funding comes from. The inspector inspector general's office so it's you need more money -- absolutely leaning more money -- and more folks to look at things. So -- Basically three of us to go to all the shootings take the complaints review the complaints monitor of the complaint and look at policies and procedures. It's pretty tough to do. On so we took over a hundred complaints from their usually between twentieth 2.5 officer involved shootings a year. On and those -- Big investigations that we have to look at so it's a lot of work for just three people when you -- you take complaints it's from the public but to also take complaints from police officer. Yeah absolutely. That officers think that there are being retaliated cancer treated unfairly. For some reason that we -- glad to have to take their complaints that gives us a window into what could be going on within department. We recognize that just allegations but when if we start seeing a pattern of these allegations that tells us something that we need to look for so. We -- via a safe haven in a resource for officers as well out. What is the difference between your office and office of public integrity. The public integrity bureau they actually investigate the case so they're the internal affairs of the police department. So we take a complaint we have to give it to them. Unless it's something that we would need to give to somebody else likes it the FBI or the US attorney or something like that but we turn overall complaints and then in the monitor how they investigate them. So they're actually supposed to be the fact finder up for investigations to find out actually what happened. And so then your office is the monitor to that. We know we watch them quite a bit we monitor their investigations we immediately go to their calm steady tweak witches. Where they go through increases and tell us what's going on and we can get feedback so somebody files complaint -- us we can go that we can say. He what's going on with this person's complaint and give them some. We're conduit to the public as well for their complaints. And what do you find. Are the biggest complaint from the public. Professional -- -- to allegations that are always leader the league so to speak and that's professionalism and courtesy which are very closely. Related I'm usually courtesy involve something like some poor language or or profanity or something like that and the professionalism can just be being kind of lets. -- Alec or just not. Having kind of it's not becoming of an officer so. At all times you have to do things that bring credit and not discredit to the police departments of those are the types of issues that always our number. So let's say somebody has an experience with an officer who they say was very cocky you know route they can go to your office that can go to than him. Office public integrity. And then and then what happens element is that officer. And in question engine. Reprimanded or not reprimanded well it depends so if you just said officer exist OPEC compliance slug -- two different types of -- somebody came to be it says it. One file complaints of the hostages still look like -- here. The top complaints investigate that's not really there's no meat to -- there's no misconduct that specialist but it's -- becomes is that. This officer was unprofessional. He called me you know baby here's something you know there's something tangible that we can actually look at and say OK yep that is misconduct. Will turn -- over to the public integrity bureau. And then -- investigated the officer does get in an interview as well as the complain it. And the start looking for independent. Evidence such as video was there any video -- it. And so on witnesses or anything like that exactly we're really talking about this is a pivotal moment probably in the history of police department. Both with the federal government. Bearing down saying you gonna get right to the consent decree. Very detailed over a long period of time and then also with Susan Hudson and the independent police monitor which is a separate entity. But it's both to make us better. Yeah absolutely and they have the power of the court behind them we have power of the public and and city ordinance behind us. But wanting the consent decree says since we do similar type of work is says that we're gonna -- The courts monitor in the police Meyer will coordinate to make sure that we're not duplicating reviews. On the network complementing each other so that we're helping them with stuff so for instance we respond to all officer involved shootings. They generally are not there at those shootings that they may be in the future but we will be there and every once a weakened gather information and provide that to them. And then when they review the investigations. They'll have our preliminary information available tool and so that's one way we can complement each other. And help admits the consent -- forward. So we're very excited about that we're also on working group with the US attorney's office in which we look at. If she's in misconduct major issues. -- budget with other actors in the criminal justice system system such as the DA in the public defender eccentric so. That's very exciting as well being a part of that so we're looking to make the NO PD banner and being a part of the reforms. You have quite a history with the issue head and the deputy. Is that correct deputy -- doing now deafening monitor in Al -- Yet assistant inspector general inspector general at their but the same thing under a consent decree. And so that it's we know I know that they're very tough standards that you have to meet. So we're we're we're all for helping you know PD meet those standards it's good for the one thing we're gonna do is we're gonna provide some training to the public integrity bureau about consent treats type standards and how we review them and we think that's gonna help them along the way. On the courts monitor is gonna share some of their information with a so that we can make sure when doing this training that we we've incorporated their perspective as well also. Are we want them the past we want in the past these reviews we want them to reform and to work -- actually the. One of the things that was they have to spend more money on training. I know that the budget. Was good for the hiring of new 150 people they can get them through -- get enough of and much better equipment -- hundred new cars and needed and that the cameras and all kinds of positives. But as far as training is it everything from how to better shoot the gun how better to talk to people. That kind of thing yeah absolutely there's another committee that looks strictly at the training academy and the training procedures. So the folks coming at the academy they've got the most up to date stating art kind of training so that's good. But folks who've been here for awhile and they're just getting you know refresher courses got up that game it's got to be bent a little bit better. On so they're going to be looking at all those things -- how are people qualifying for the shooting correctly. What are your tactics one of the things that you find and police departments as he may have more shootings because the tactics are back at. Officers put themselves in to to Dicey situations where now they have to use deadly force so. All of those issues are being looked at right now. And so that's. What's good about this consent decree it's looking at every aspect of the department having in Spain Japan both in LA and in Austin, Texas issue we're doing the same thing. What do you think how do we compare against. Well I'll say this. As you noted. Training has been lacking here and that shows in a lot of what's going on here. And looking -- off the techniques for investigation looking at that the tactics in certain circumstances so it shows it shows that they need more training. I came from LAPD but they have the same issue. When they started their consent decree and by the end of it their trading was world -- it was it was a really incredible and officers were very excited about that. Austin as you know Austin's very progressive city so -- standards were very hard to begin on their offices are paid very well educated very well and trained -- So we we we're behind we're behind in policies procedures and training. Stay with this we'll continue our top assistant Hudson right after this.

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