(BCN) An independent monitor says the Oakland Police Department is making a "slight improvement" in meeting reforms that were mandated in the settlement of a police brutality lawsuit a decade ago.
In his 13th quarterly report filed with U.S. District Court Judge Thelton Henderson, who approved the settlement in 2003, monitor Robert Warshaw said the department has made "a slight increase" in its compliance efforts during the last three months of 2012.
However, Warshaw said the city of Oakland and its Police Department have "stifled and sidetracked" the court's reform efforts "for far too long" and he's still dismayed by what he described as the department's "stagnation in its progress toward effective, just and constitutional policing."
The lawsuit settlement required Oakland police to implement 51 reforms in a variety of areas, including improved investigation of citizen complaints, better training of officers and increased field supervision.
The slow progress in complying with the mandated reforms prompted civil rights attorneys John Burris and James Chanin, who represent the plaintiffs in the case, to seek a federal takeover of the Oakland Police Department last year and have a federal receiver appointed.
But because of an agreement reached in December, Oakland has instead hired an independent, court-appointed compliance director to be in charge of completing all the reforms.