TIME Crime

Seattle Police May Shelve Plan to Equip Officers With Body Cameras

Seattle police may cancel a plan to give 1,000 police officers body cameras like the one shown here worn by a Las Vegas official on Nov. 12, 2014. John Locher—AP

Officials says excessive public-disclosure requests are to blame

Seattle may drop its plan to equip more than 1,000 police officers with body cameras by 2016 because of the volume of public-disclosure requests already seeking information from future recordings.

A six-month pilot program set to launch in a few weeks might be completely shelved, officials told the Seattle Times, thanks to public-disclosure requests by an anonymous citizen who was looking for daily updates that department officials say would be nearly impossible to fulfill. Officials said the requests — including all recordings from patrol-car and body cameras, as well as 9-1-1 dispatches and checks run on license plates and addresses — would be both too expensive and time-consuming for the department.

A number of cities have been experimenting with body cameras since the shooting of unarmed teenager Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., in August, which set off weeks of protests. The incident was not captured on video, and the facts of the shooting have been disputed. Police departments in Denver, Anaheim, Washington, D.C. and Ferguson have since announced plans to use the cameras.

[Seattle Times]

TIME shooting

2 Dead, Including Gunman, in Washington High School Shooting

Unconfirmed reports suggest multiple students were injured in the shooting

A high school student opened fire Friday morning at Marysville-Pilchuck High School in Washington state Friday morning, killing at least one person before turning the gun on himself.

A spokesman for the Marysville Police Department told TIME that “multiple” people were injured in the incident. Four patients were taken to Providence Regional Medical Center Everett, according to the hospital’s website. Three victims remained in critical condition Friday afternoon, the Seattle Times reported.

The Times also reported several students identified the shooter as freshman Jaylen Fryberg. Jordan Luton, a student at the school, told CNN he saw Fryberg go up to a table with students, “came up from behind . . . and fired about six bullets into the backs of them.” Luton added, “They were his friends, so it wasn’t just random.” Federal law enforcement believe the shooter used a .40-caliber handgun.

The shooting occurred shortly before 11 a.m. PT. Students were evacuated while police cleared the school room to room with guns drawn.

Fryberg was a popular student, CNN reports, who played football and was named as the high school’s freshman homecoming prince. He also belonged to the local Tulalip Native American tribe, and was an avid hunter. “He was a people person,” freshman Rachel Heichel said. “He was just a really nice kid and all-around good person.”

Luton told CNN that Fryberg got into a fight with someone a few weeks before who “said something racist to him.” Fryberg was suspended, but there’s no evidence the fight had anything to do with the shooting.

Student Austin Taylor told a local news station he was standing near the shooter when the shooting began. “He had a blank stare,” he said. “He was just staring at the victims as he shot them.”

MONEY Budgeting

Guess Which U.S. City Is the Most Expensive

141014_REA_EXPENSIVELIVING
Nikreates—Alamy

Hint: It's not NYC.

On average, American households spend the largest share of their annual expenditures on housing. The average family spends $16,887 on housing per year, equating to 33% of the average household’s annual expenditures. But how much do those expenses vary from city to city, and which places are the most expensive?

Well, the Bureau of Labor Statistics recently released a report (link opens PDF) detailing Americans’ average annual expenditures on housing and related items. And contrary to popular belief, New York City is not the most expensive city to live in. Two U.S. cities have overtaken it.

A breakdown of housing costs

The BLS took a deep dive into all the costs of housing, rather than simply comparing the cost of rent or average mortgage payments. Their analysis also took into account utilities (electric, water, and natural gas), household furnishings and equipment (textiles, furniture, floor coverings, appliances, and the like), housekeeping supplies, and other household expenses. What they found was that average annual expenditures on housing were far higher in both Washington, D.C., and San Francisco than in New York.

most-expensive-city-no-longer-nyc_large
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The data is current as of 2012, and housing costs in the District of Columbia and San Francisco have risen since then. In D.C., the rise in housing costs is being led by the redevelopment and gentrification of the downtown area, which in turn is being triggered by the high relative number of government and government-related jobs, particularly in the defense contracting sector. Baby boomers are also moving from the suburbs into the city.

In San Francisco, housing costs have always been high, but they’re spiking because of a confluence of factors. The continued boom in technology companies in Silicon Valley — most notably Apple, Google, and Facebook — means that a growing cadre of high-paid employees want to live in the area. Add in a longtime lack of housing development in the city, and you have a rise in housing prices that has become a contentious issue in the San Francisco Bay area as longtime renters are priced out of the city. TechCrunch’s Kim-Mai Cutler provides a great, in-depth piece on San Francisco’s housing problem.

The difference in annual housing costs between the two most expensive cities and the national average is a staggering $10,000. Excluding New York City, the difference between the two most expensive cities and other major U.S. metropolitan areas is over $5,000 annually. If you’re thinking of moving, it’s smart to compare costs carefully before moving to one of the most expensive cities in the U.S.

National differences in housing cost

While the above data is just from major U.S. cities, we have other data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis showing the real value of housing dollars in each state compared with the national average.

real-value-of-housing_large

You can see that generally, coastal states are more expensive than non-coastal states, as many people enjoy living near the ocean. You can also see that the Northeast on average is more expensive than the rest of the country except for California. These high costs, coupled with better weather and low to no income taxes, are why many retirees move south to Florida, Texas, etc.

If considering moving to a more expensive city, you should be sure the benefits will be worth the extra expense. For instance, while I pay a high cost of living to live in New York City, the quality of life that I get in the city makes it well worth it, in my opinion. While New York state is ranked poorly in terms of the happiest states in the U.S., New York City is ranked in the top quartile by happiness among U.S. cities, according to the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index.

The most important thing is to live in a place where you are happy. While the main determinants of happiness are the same for everyone, the specifics vary. Be sure that an increased cost of living comes with an increased quality of life.

TIME politics

How Indigenous Peoples Day Came to Be

Berkeley, Calif., adopted the holiday 22 years before Seattle and Minneapolis did in 2014

Updated 10:47 a.m. EST

Earlier this month, the Seattle City Council unanimously voted to recognize Indigenous Peoples’ Day as an alternative to Columbus Day, following in the footsteps of Minneapolis, which made the same decision in April of this year. But both cities were late to the game compared to Berkeley, Calif., which in 1992 became the first city in the country to formally recognize a new holiday challenging the idea that Christopher Columbus “discovered” America with his 1492 voyage.

Back in 1992, then-Mayor of Berkeley Loni Hancock told TIME Magazine that Columbus Day celebrations have been “Eurocentric and [have] ignored the brutal realities of the colonization of indigenous peoples.”

Now a California State Senator, Hancock says she’s pleased so many other cities are catching on to Indigenous Peoples Day. (Different cities have made different choices about where to put the apostrophe after peoples, or whether to have one at all, but the idea is the same.) “Berkeley was just a little bit in front,” she says, noting that Berkeley was also the first city to ban Styrofoam carry-out containers and install curb cuts to assist the disabled. “As often happens, things happen in Berkeley first and then other places pick them up.”

Talk of an alternative to Columbus Day dates back to the 1970s, but the idea came to Berkeley after the First Continental Conference on 500 Years of Indian Resistance in Quito, Ecuador, in 1990. That led to another conference among Northern Californian Native American groups, Hancock says; some attendees, along with other locals interested in Native American history, brought their concerns to the Berkeley City Council. The council appointed a task force to investigate the ideas and Columbus’ historical legacy, and in 1992 they unanimously approved the task force’s recommendation for an Indigenous Peoples Day. (Other alternatives exist in the U.S., such as Native American Day—South Dakota has recognized that holiday since 1990.)

“[Columbus] was one of the first Europeans to get to the American continent, but there was a lot of history that came after that in terms of the wiping out of native people,” Hancock says. “It just didn’t seem appropriate. It seemed like a reemphasizing of history and recognizing that to be very ethnocentric really diminishes us all.”

In addition to being an official holiday, Indigenous Peoples Day in Berkeley is celebrated with an Indian market and pow-wow that attracts Native Americans from all over the state as well as the country. “Any holiday like that says, ‘This is an important factor in our history,’ whether it’s Martin Luther King’s birthday or President’s Day,” Hancock says. “I think that it impacts the way the young people of Berkeley look at the world.”

While cities like Seattle now observe Indigenous Peoples’ Day in addition to Columbus Day, the city of Berkeley replaced Columbus Day altogether. Hancock says there was vocal opposition to change but notes that most of it came from outside of the Berkeley community. As was also the case in Seattle, some members of the Italian-American community argued that Columbus Day was an important celebration of Italian pride and heritage, and that changing the celebration was disrespectful.

“We just had to keep reiterating that that was not the purpose — the purpose was to really affirm the incredible legacy of the indigenous people who were in the North American continent long before Columbus,” Hancock says. “But I’d also suggest that most of the Italian-Americans really came to this country looking for safety and economic opportunity, and I’m sure we could find some of the Italian-Americans who stood up for that and helped make that happen. Maybe we should look into that. The Berkeley City Council, as you know, will consider many things!”

Read next: Bummed About Having to Work on Columbus Day? Read This

TIME Washington

Seattle Changes Columbus Day to Indigenous Peoples’ Day

Christopher Columbus
Getty Images

Seattle joins a growing number of cities officially recognizing Native American history

Columbus Day will now be known as Indigenous Peoples’ Day in Seattle.

The Seattle City Council on Monday unanimously approved the re-designation, which acknowledges that Native Americans were living in North America well before Christopher Columbus “discovered America” in the 15th century, Reuters reports.

The change, which will go into effect before the Oct. 13 holiday this year, marks the second major city in the U.S. to officially re-designate the day, after Minneapolis’ vote in April. (Though the city of Berkeley, Calif., ceased observation of Columbus Day in 1992.)

“Nobody discovered Seattle, Washington,” said Quinault Nation President Fawn Sharp in remarks to the council. “This action will allow us to bring into future and present a day honoring our rich history.”

The change faced some opposition from some members of Seattle’s Italian-American community, who view the day as a celebration of their cultural heritage (Columbus hailed from Genoa, Italy).

The Seattle School Board voted last week to observe Indigenous Peoples’ Day and Columbus Day on the same day in public schools.

[Reuters]

TIME

This is the Hottest Ticket in the NFL

Secondary market sales show that prices to attend a Seattle Seahawks game have climbed faster than other team since 2010

In 2010, the Seattle Seahawks made history as the first team to win a division with a sub-.500 record. This past February, the Seahawks won their Super Bowl Championship. Along the way, Seahawks tickets have gone from the fourth cheapest in the NFL to the most expensive, and for 2014, Century Link Field is one of the most expensive places to see a sporting event in the country.

In 2010, only the Bills, Raiders and Browns had ticket prices cheaper than the Seahawks. That year, it cost an average of $97 to see a game at what was then called Qwest Field. Two weeks into the 2014 season, based on secondary market data from TiqIQ, the ticket search engine where I am founder and CEO, it costs an average of $398 to see one of the Seahawks home games. That increase of 227% is the biggest five-year increase in the NFL.

Here are the 30 NFL teams—from costly Seattle to increasingly affordable Indianapolis–and their average price increase or decrease since 2010.

TiqIQ

1. Seattle Seahawks | 2014 Season Average: $398.51 | Percent Change: 227.3%

Over the past five years, the Seattle Seahawks have experienced the biggest average price increase on the secondary ticket market in the NFL. Two consecutive losing seasons in 2010 and 2011 followed by a pair of NFC West divisional titles and a Super Bowl Championship last season has given Seattle a 227.32% increase in average price since 2010.

2. San Francisco 49ers | 2014 Season Average: $379.71 | Percent Change: 225.7%

Entering their inaugural season at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, the 49ers control the second largest four-year percent change in season average price. Like the Seahawks, the 49ers had a rough patch at the start of the decade, but have been to three straight NFC Championship Games in the past three seasons.

3. Denver Broncos | 2014 Season Average: $339.71 | Percent Change: 119.9%

The secondary market average price at Sports Authority Field has soared since Peyton Manning left the Colts for the Broncos in 2012. In that two-year period, the Broncos have gone on to win two consecutive AFC West titles and made a Super Bowl appearance last season.

4. Carolina Panthers | 2014 Season Average: $192.58 | Percent Change: 73.5%

In 2010, Carolina had the worst record in the league, which led them to drafting quarterback Cam Newton with the first overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft. Carolina made the playoffs for the first time since 2008 last season and that has continued to increase optimism around Bank of America Stadium.

5. Dallas Cowboys | 2014 Season Average: $260.23 | Percent Change: 56.7%

Despite plenty of on-the-field woes in recent years, the Dallas Cowboys have the fifth highest percentage increase in season average on the secondary market since 2010.

6. Oakland Raiders | 2014 Season Average: $146.14 | Percent Change: 40.7%

Raiders fans are certainly a passionate bunch, and that shows on the secondary market. Oakland has not had a winning record since 2002, but average price continues to increase on the secondary market.

7. Buffalo Bills | 2014 Season Average: $139.18 | Percent Change: 40.4%

With two wins under their belt heading into Week 3 this season, there’s no reason to believe Bills tickets won’t continue to rise in price. A new owner who has vowed to keep the team in Buffalo will certainly help too.

8. Detroit Lions | 2014 Season Average: $150.11 | Percent Change: 37.1%

Though they haven’t clinched a playoff berth since 2011, the Lions continue to see the average price at Ford Field rise on the secondary market.

9. San Diego Chargers | 2014 Season Average: $199.44 | Percent Change: 37%

San Diego struggled in mediocrity during the Norv Turner era and 2013’s playoff appearance under Mike McCoy was the first for the franchise since 2009. In 2010, Chargers tickets had a season average of $137.50.

10. New York Giants | 2014 Season Average: $324.49 | Percent Change: 34.7%

The Giants have been a puzzling regular season team over the past few seasons. They’ve won two Super Bowls since 2007, but have not been a consistent team in the regular season. Since 2010, New York Giants tickets have been towards the top of the league in secondary market prices, and the price keeps increasing every season.

11. Houston Texans | 2014 Average Price: $196.60 | Percent Change: 34.2%

12. New England Patriots | 2014 Average Price: $338 | Percent Change: 30.8%

13. Chicago Bears | 2014 Average Price: $387.15 | Percent Change: 28.5%

14. Minnesota Vikings | 2014 Average Price: $154.25 | Percent Change: 27.2%

15. Tennessee Titans | 2014 Average Price: $148.11 | Percent Change: 27%

16. Arizona Cardinals | 2014 Average Price: $139.59 | Percent Change: 24.9%

17. Cleveland Browns | 2014 Average Price: $124.06 | Percent Change: 24.2%

18. Cincinnati Bengals | 2014 Average Price: $145.70 | Percent Change: 19.4%

19. Philadelphia Eagles | 2014 Average Price: $219.68 | Percent Change: 19.2%

20. Green Bay Packers | 2014 Average Price: $229.83 | Percent Change: 19%

21. Miami Dolphins | 2014 Average Price: $166.01 | Percent Change: 18.9%

22. Tampa Bay Buccaneers | 2014 Average Price: $144.16 | Percent Change: 18.9%

23. Jacksonville Jaguars | 2014 Average Price: $150.42 | Percent Change: 18.7%

24. Atlanta Falcons | 2014 Average Price: $148.57 | Percent Change: 10.1%

25. Pittsburgh Steelers | 2014 Average Price: $218.28 | Percent Change: 9.4%

26. St. Louis Rams | 2014 Average Price: $128.04 | Percent Change: 1.2%

27. New Orleans Saints | 2014 Average Price: $268.53 | Percent Change: -0.1%

28. Washington Redskins | 2014 Average Price: $165.62 | Percent Change: -0.6%

29. New York Jets | 2014 Average Price: $196.64 | Percent Change: -1%

30. Kansas City Chiefs | 2014 Average Price: $139.40 | Percent Change: -17.2%

31. Baltimore Ravens | 2014 Average Price: $189.38 | Percent Change: -17.6%

32. Indianapolis Colts | 2014 Average Price: $147.46 | Percent Change: -19.5%

Jesse Lawrence is the CEO and Founder of TiqIQ.

TIME food and drink

Starbucks Plans New ‘Tasting Room’ and Express Stores

Megachain hopes to expand its pricier, small-batch coffee line

Starbucks is about to get fancier — and even more widespread.

The coffee giant announced plans Friday to open a Starbucks Roastery and Tasting Room on its home turf in Seattle by December, a move it hopes will anchor a significant expansion of its business and “transform the future of coffee.”

“Everything we have created and learned about coffee has led us to this moment,” CEO Howard Schultz said in a statement.

The 15,000-square-foot facility — which will highlight what the company calls “coffee theater” — will be an “integrated coffee roasting, education and retail space” that will allow it to ramp up production capacity for its small-batch “Starbucks Reserve” coffee line. That, in turn, will boost its availability to 1,500 locations worldwide.

Starbucks plans to open at least 100 new stores to highlight those coffee options and also test out express stores that will offer fewer products in a bid to lower customer wait times.

So, fear not: Beverage innovation is here.

TIME Crime

Bikini Coffee Shop Owner Hit With Prostitution Charges

Baristas at "Java Juggs" were allegedly serving up more than just cappuccinos

For the past few years, some coffee shops in Washington state have been taking the idea of customer service a little too far.

A former owner of a Seattle-area “bikini coffee shop” was charged with money laundering and promoting prostitution Thursday, after her baristas allegedly served up sex acts to customers as well as hot drinks, CBS News reports.

Documents claim the “bikini baristas” charged $14 to flash their genitals or breasts at customers, and more for sexual acts.

Prosecutors in Shnohomish County allege that Carmela Panico collected more than $2 million in three years through her illegal business offerings. Panico, a former erotic dancer, managed to skip out on paying her full taxes by operating largely in cash — officials found more than $250,000 during a home raid in 2013.

She may have also had some help from the inside: authorities allege that Darrell O’Neill, a sheriff’s sergeant, gave Panico and her employees the heads-up about police investigations in return for sexual favors.

The coffee stand, Java Juggs, was one of seven locations police busted for charges related to prostitution and lewd contact. According to court documents, Panico would dock employees’ pay if the women weren’t wearing high heels or adequate makeup.

An attorney for Panico said the 52-year-old, feeling a little burned by the coffee business, has left the industry for good.

[CBS News]

TIME

Militarizing Ferguson Cops With Riot Gear Is a Huge Mistake

National Guard and Seattle police arrest WTO protestors , November 1999
National Guard and Seattle police arrest WTO protestors , November 1999 Tim Matsui—Getty Images

As the former chief of Seattle police, I deeply regret tear-gassing WTO protesters in 1999. But police departments should—and still can—learn from what I did wrong

I retired as Seattle’s police chief shortly after I presided over a response to the 1999 WTO protests not unlike the police reaction in Ferguson, Missouri. In time, I came to believe my authorization to send in officers in riot gear and to use tear gas on protesters was the worst decision of my 34-year career as a cop.

Today, the entire institution of policing seems hell-bent on repeating my mistakes.

Many local law enforcement agencies are now outfitted and behave like small armies. This is not good, and the federal government shares much of the blame. With the advent of the drug war and especially since 9/11, the Department of Defense has been more than generous in gifts of surplus military items to the locals: armored personnel carriers, MRAPs (mine-resistant, ambush protected vehicles), and a wide assortment of military weaponry.

The causes of the continuing unrest in Ferguson are many: the shooting death of an unarmed teenager, of course, along with persistent racial bigotry and discrimination, crushing poverty, failing schools, high unemployment… But it was the police department’s precipitous, militarized response last weekend that transformed peaceful vigils and protests into a siege of proportions never before seen in that St. Louis suburb.

That, and an abiding, preexisting condition of deep distrust of the city’s police officers.

Throughout the nation, in neighborhoods that have been historically neglected or oppressed by their police, the military mentality has exacerbated an already dreadful relationship. And it has all but destroyed “community policing,” a promising program that seeks to create authentic problem-solving partnerships between police and community.

We should not be surprised that officers of the Ferguson Police Department responded aggressively, militarily, to the original protests. It’s what cops do. They are conditioned to believe they are in control and that they must maintain that control, at all costs. They come to “own” the streets they patrol. The cop culture produces an attitude that, “We’re the police, and you’re not. We will decide what’s best for the community.” Even if it means hitting the family home of a suspected low-level, nonviolent drug offender with maximum military might, or using dogs for crowd control, or violating the civil liberties and human rights of fellow citizens.

Of course, at times, there is no substitute for military equipment and military-like tactics. Picture armed and barricaded suspects, school shootings, and other urgent, life-and-death situations. Make no mistake, America’s cities need carefully selected, well trained, highly self-disciplined police officers to confront these dangerous situations.

The problem comes when local law enforcement embraces militaristic tactics as its default position. Especially in situations, like Ferguson, where de-escalation efforts would have made infinitely better sense.

Picture Captain Ron Johnson standing before that bank of microphones at the beginning, not the end of the week. See him walking, in his everyday uniform, with protestors, smiling, hugging, saying, as he did in church yesterday, “You are my family…I am you.” A powerful statement in a town whose African-American population is 70 percent and whose police force of 53 numbers only three black cops.

Had Ferguson police responded with openness, had they listened and listened then listened some more, had they been as prompt and as forthcoming and thorough in their explanations as circumstances would allow, I am convinced that the peace of the community could have been maintained, its residents allowed to mourn the death of another young black man, even as they insisted on answers from their local police.

American policing, almost since its inception, has operated as a closed, paramilitary-bureaucratic institution. What we’re seeing on the streets of Ferguson is nothing new. We’ve seen it in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries in the police response to labor, antiwar, civil rights, and campus demonstrations. What’s new is just how militaristic everyday policing has become in the early years of the twenty-first century.

But all is not lost. There are many ways to make police more responsible to the communities they serve. Let’s end the drug war that encourages the targeting of poor people, young people, people of color. Let’s flatten steep police hierarchies of power that discourage open and forthright communication within the ranks, and between the people and the police. Let’s invest civilian review boards with investigative and subpoena powers that allow them real oversight. Let’s insist on meaningful community representation in all aspects of police policy-making, program development, priority setting and crisis management.

And, most important, let’s encourage good people to go into policing. They can reform things from the inside and provide living exemplars of what good policing can be.

 

Norm Stamper was Seattle police chief from 1994-2000. He is the author of Breaking Rank: A Top Cop’s Exposé of American Policing and is an advisory board member of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition.

TIME Crime

These 4 Cities Show What Federal Intervention Could Look Like in Ferguson

Seattle police fire teargas and pellets at protesters outside the World Trade Organization conference in Seattle, Washington on November 30, 1999.
Seattle police fire teargas and pellets at protesters outside the World Trade Organization conference in Seattle, Washington on November 30, 1999. Andy Clark—Reuters

The Department of Justice has intervened in other cities in the past

In the wake of unrest in the city of Ferguson, Mo., the Department of Justice says it will investigate reports of excessive force by local police. The investigation is in its earliest stages, but the history of the federal government’s intervention in more than 20 cities over the past two decades provides an idea of what Washington’s approach to local police reform might look like if they find wrongdoing in the case.

In response to findings of police misconduct in the past, cities across the country have entered into agreements, called consent decrees, that have allowed the federal government to force police departments to enact policies that curb racial profiling, improper interrogation and illegal search and seizure, among other things. The exact terms and conditions vary in each case, and the deals are lifted only with the approval of a federal judge.

Here is a look at how federal intervention played out in four cities:

Seattle

When Seattle cracked down on protestors at a World Trade Organization meeting in 1999 the world took notice. Just over a decade later, the city’s police found themselves facing more allegations of improper use of force, this time from the Justice Department. The city’s consent decree required the city to rethink its firearm policies. Officers were required to carry less dangerous weapons and to utilize “de-escalation techniques.”

Seattle police fire teargas and pellets at protesters outside the World Trade Organization conference in Seattle, Washington on November 30, 1999. Andy Clark—Reuters

New Orleans

New Orleans, and its scandal-ridden local government, received attention for civilian deaths caused by police in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. It also received an unusually far-reaching consent decree. A 2012 Department of Justice investigation found multiple cases of illegal use of force that resulted in death, inappropriate use of “uncontrollable” dogs to find suspects, discriminatory targeting of minorities for arrest, and other violations. The decree mandated extensive officer training, new supervision requirements and data collection to solve the issue. Recent reports suggest that the police department still has a way to go.

New Orleans Police subdue a man who refused to cooperate when he was asked to step out of his car and who was found to have a knife in the front seat, at the scene of a house fire in New Orleans East on July 6, 2006. Robyn Beck—AFP/Getty Images

Los Angeles

In 2001, a decade after the beating of Rodney King in 1991 and the riots that followed, the Justice Department entered into a consent decree with the Los Angeles Police Department. The beating was one of many allegations of misconduct by the LAPD. A letter to then-Mayor James Hahn from a Justice Department official outlined a number of areas of concern, including the LAPD’s use of excessive force and false arrests. The letter also said that the department lacked procedures to deal with the issues. The consent decree required that department to collect data on police actions like firearm use and its response to cases of resisting arrest. Under the plan, supervisors were then instructed to monitor officers’ action and report potential policy violations. After more than a decade of federal oversight, the consent decree was lifted by a judge in 2013.

Video image of LA cops beating black motorist Rodney King as he lies on ground; taken by camcorder enthusiast George Holliday fr. window overlooking street. Charles Steiner—Image Works/The LIFE Images Collection/Getty Images

Oakland

Federal involvement took a slightly different form in the city of Oakland. The city entered into a settlement with more than 100 plaintiffs in 2003 that mandated a number of police reforms. Ten years later the city acknowledged that it had failed to deliver on its end of the bargain and asked the federal government to help. A federal officer, whose powers included the ability to fire the chief of police, was appointed to oversee the department. The overseer also failed, and was removed by a federal judge this year.

Occupy demonstrators clash with Oakland police during May Day protest in Oakland, California on May 1, 2012. Stephen Lam—Reuters

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