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Meeting on NOPD consent decree set

29th July 2013   ·   0 Comments

Community United for Change, a grassroots organization that las led the effort to completely overhaul the New Orleans Police Department, will host a community meeting about the federally mandated NOPD consent decree on Tuesday, July 30, at 6:00 p.m. at the St. James AME Church Meeting Hall located in back of the church at 221 N. Derbigny Street, next door to Two Sisters Restaurant.

“Our new directives, towards realizing Constitutional Policing, is to begin monitoring the process and evaluating the results of implementing the new policies agreed upon by both the City of New Orleans and the U.S. Department of Justice in what has been referred to as the Consent Decree,” CUC said in a statement directed to residents and community activists last week. “This is where your expertise comes into play. By knowing what was done wrong in the past you will be able to weigh the expected changes in the new policies with the behaviors being tested on the streets.

“That is why it is necessary for you to continue your vigilance in community advocacy as CUC implements the Community Oversight Committees and the Cop Watch programs to ensure the people of New Orleans lasting changes of how Constitutional Policing will impact us all for decades to come. CUC is working on a permanent resolution to the senseless killings, improper stop and frisks, and general harassment of the city’s Black, Latino, LGBT, and poor residents and visitors by the NOPD. With your help, CUC will monitor the monitors to insure proper implementation of the Consent Decree as well as regular updates and direct access to the process that promises to bring Constitutional Policing to New Orleans.”

CUC hosted community meetings with members of the U.S. Department of Justice for two years to allow residents to share stories of abuse, police brutality and the use of excessive force by members of the NOPD before the DOH crafted a NOPD consent decree.

After a year of political and legal wrangling, efforts to implement the NOPD consent decree took a step forward in early July when U.S. District Judge Susie Morgan selected Washington, DC-based Sheppard, Mullin, Richter and Hampton to serve as federal monitor for the NOPD consent decree. CUC, civil rights attorneys and other local groups vehemently opposed the other finalist for the post, Chicago-based Hilliard Heintze because of its use of two local partners — the Rev. Charles Southall and Tulane University Dr. Peter Scharf — because of their ties to the administration of New Orleans Mitch Landrieu.

This article originally published in the July 29, 2013 print edition of The Louisiana Weekly newspaper.

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