U.S. v. City of Los Angeles - Consent Decree -- Introduction
A. General Provisions
1. The United States and the City of Los Angeles, a chartered municipal corporation
in the State of California, share a mutual interest in promoting effective and respectful policing.
They join together in entering this settlement in order to promote police integrity and prevent
conduct that deprives persons of rights, privileges, or immunities secured or protected by the
Constitution or laws of the United States.
2. In its Complaint, plaintiff United States alleges that the City of Los Angeles, the
Los Angeles Board of Police Commissioners, and the Los Angeles Police Department
(collectively, "the City defendants") are violating 42 U.S.C. § 14141 by engaging in a pattern or
practice of unconstitutional or otherwise unlawful conduct that has been made possible by the
failure of the City defendants to adopt and implement proper management practices and
procedures. In making these allegations, the United States recognizes that the majority of Los
Angeles police officers perform their difficult jobs in a lawful manner.
3. The City defendants deny the allegations in the Complaint. Nothing in this
Agreement, the United States' complaint, or the negotiation process shall be construed as an
admission or evidence of liability under any federal, state or local law, including 42 U.S.C. §
1983, or 18 U.S.C. 1961 et. seq.
4. This Court has jurisdiction of this action under 28 U.S.C. §§ 1331 and 1345. The
United States is authorized to initiate this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 14141. Venue is proper
in the Central District of California pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1391.
5. This Agreement resolves all claims in the United States' Complaint filed in this
case. This Agreement also constitutes a full and complete settlement of any and all claims the
United States may have against the City defendants, and their officers, employees or agents,
regarding any alleged pattern or practice of conduct by Los Angeles police officers in carrying
out their law enforcement responsibilities, including racial discrimination, in violation of 42
U.S.C. §§ 14141, 2000d, 3789d(c) or any other law under which such an action could have been
brought by the United States that: (i) have occurred up to and including the date the Complaint is
filed, or (ii) could have been raised as of the date the Complaint is filed. This paragraph does not
apply to any potential employment discrimination claims against the City of Los Angeles.
6. The parties enter into this Agreement to provide for the expeditious
implementation of remedial measures, to promote the use of the best available practices and
procedures for police management, and to resolve the United States' claims without resort to
7. Nothing in this Agreement is intended to alter the lawful authority of LAPD
police officers to use reasonable and necessary force, effect arrests and file charges, conduct
searches or make seizures, or otherwise fulfill their law enforcement obligations to the people of
the City of Los Angeles in a manner consistent with the requirements of the Constitutions and
laws of the United States and the State of California.
8. Nothing in this Agreement is intended to: (a) alter the existing collective
bargaining agreements between the City (as defined in paragraph 15) and LAPD employee
bargaining units; or (b) impair the collective bargaining rights of employees in those units under
state and local law. The parties acknowledge that as a matter of state and local law the
implementation by the City of certain provisions of this Agreement may require compliance with
the meet and confer process or consulting process. The City shall comply with any such legal
requirements and shall do so with a goal of concluding any such processes in a manner that will
permit the City's timely implementation of this Agreement. The City shall give appropriate
notice of this Agreement to affected employee bargaining units to allow such processes to begin
as to this Agreement as filed with the Court. The City has received one demand to meet and
confer in regard to the proposed Agreement and will use its best efforts to have expedited that
process and any others that may be demanded. The City agrees to consult with the DOJ in regard
to the positions it takes in any meeting and conferring or consulting processes connected with
9. This Agreement shall constitute the entire integrated agreement of the parties. No
prior drafts or prior or contemporaneous communications, oral or written, shall be relevant or
admissible for purposes of determining the meaning of any provisions herein in any litigation or
any other proceeding.
10. This Agreement is binding upon the parties hereto, by and through their officials,
agents, employees, and successors. This Agreement is enforceable only by the parties. No
person or entity is intended to be a third party beneficiary of the provisions of this Agreement for
purposes of any civil, criminal, or administrative action, and accordingly, no person or entity may
assert any claim or right as a beneficiary or protected class under this Agreement. This
Agreement is not intended to impair or expand the right of any person or organization to seek
relief against the City defendants for their conduct or the conduct of LAPD officers; accordingly,
it does not alter legal standards governing any such claims, including those under California
Business and Professional Code Section 17200, et. seq. This Agreement does not authorize, nor
shall it be construed to authorize, access to any City or Department documents, except as
expressly provided by this Agreement, by persons or entities other than the DOJ, the City
defendants and the Monitor.
11. The City is responsible for providing necessary support to the Los Angeles Board
of Police Commissioners, the Inspector General, the LAPD and the Chief of Police to enable
each of them to fulfill their obligations under this Agreement.
12. The City, by and through its officials, agents, employees, and successors, is
enjoined from engaging in a pattern or practice of conduct by law enforcement officers of the
LAPD that deprives persons of rights, privileges, or immunities secured or protected by the
Constitution or laws of the United States. This paragraph does not apply to the City of Los
Angeles' employment policies, practices, or procedures.
13. The term "Categorical Uses of Force" means (i) all incidents involving the use of
deadly force by an LAPD officer ("OIS"); (ii) all uses of an upper body control hold by an LAPD
officer and can include the use of a modified carotid, full carotid or locked carotid; (iii) all uses
of force by an LAPD officer resulting in an injury requiring hospitalization, commonly referred
to as a law enforcement related injury or LERI incident; (iv) all head strikes with an impact
weapon; (v) all other uses of force by an LAPD officer resulting in a death, commonly known as
a law enforcement activity related death or LEARD incident; and (vi) all deaths while the
arrestee or detainee is in the custodial care of the LAPD, commonly referred to as an in-custody
death or ICD. In addition, under current LAPD policy, a canine bite is not a use of force.
However, for purposes of this Agreement only, a Categorical Use of Force shall include all
incidents where a member of the public is bitten by a canine assigned to the LAPD and where
hospitalization is required.
14. The term "Charter" means the Los Angeles City Charter, as may be amended from
time to time.
15. The term "City" means the City of Los Angeles acting through the Mayor of Los
Angeles and the Los Angeles City Council.
16. The term "complaint" means any complaint by a member of the public regarding
Department services, policy or procedure, claims for damages (which allege employee
misconduct) or employee misconduct; and any allegation of possible misconduct made by an
LAPD employee. All complaints shall be recorded on Complaint Form 1.28. A complaint may
be initiated by any of the methods set forth in paragraph 74. For purposes of this Agreement, the
term "complaint" does not include any allegation of employment discrimination.
17. The term "Complaint Form 1.28 investigations" means all administrative
investigations of complaints by the LAPD.
18. The term "complainant" means any person who files a complaint against an
officer or the LAPD.
19. The term "Department" means the Los Angeles Police Department, a constituent
department of the City of Los Angeles, as defined in the Charter, and includes the LAPD, the
Inspector General, and the Police Commission.
20. The terms "document" and "record" include all "writings and recordings" as
defined by Federal Rules of Evidence Rule 1001(1).
21. The term "DOJ" means the United States Department of Justice and its agents and
employees. In this action, the DOJ represents the United States of America.
22. The term "effective date" means the day this Agreement is entered by the Court.
23. The term "including" means "including, but not limited to."
24. The term "Independent Monitor" or "Monitor" as used in this document except
for paragraph 158, means the Monitor established by Section XI of this Agreement, and all
persons or entities associated by the Monitor to assist in performing the monitoring tasks.
25. The term "Inspector General" means the Office of the Inspector General, as
established in the Charter.
26. The term "LAPD" means the Chief of Police of the Department and all employees
under his or her command.
27. The term "LAPD employee" means any employee under the command of the
Chief of Police, including civilian employees.
28. The term "LAPD unit" means any officially designated organization of officers
within the LAPD, including Bureaus, Areas, Divisions, Groups, Sections, and specialized units.
29. The term "manager" means an LAPD supervisor at the rank of captain or above.
30. The term "motor vehicle stop" means any instance where an LAPD officer directs
a civilian operating a motor vehicle of any type to stop and the driver is detained for any length
of time. Such term does not include: checkpoint stops; roadblock stops; commercial vehicle
inspection stops; safe driving award stops; child safety seat giveaway stops; stops related to the
execution of arrest warrants where the person being stopped is reasonably believed to be the
person named on the warrant; stops directly related to the execution of search warrants; or stops
as part of targeted task force prostitution and drug enforcement stings which sole purpose is to
identify and arrest persons who engage in or attempt to engage in the targeted unlawful conduct.
31. The term "non-disciplinary action" refers to action other than discipline taken by
an LAPD supervisor to enable or encourage an officer to modify his or her performance. It may
include: oral or written counseling; training; increased field supervision for a specified time
period; mandatory professional assistance; referral to Behavioral Science Services ("BSS") or to
the Employee Assistance Program; a change of an officer's partner; or a reassignment or transfer.
32. The term "pedestrian stop" means any instance where an LAPD officer performs a
stop (i.e., a temporary restraint where a person is not free to leave) of a person who is not in a
motor vehicle. Such term does not include: (i) field interviews of witnesses to or victims of
crime; (ii) stops in direct response to the time, place, and circumstances of a call for service for
homicide, rape, robbery, assault, domestic violence, shots fired, suspect with a gun or knife,
kidnaping, bomb threat, child in danger of physical harm caused by another person, officer needs
help or assistance, or battery; (iii) stops related to the execution of arrest warrants where the
person being stopped is reasonably believed to be the person named on the warrant; (iv) stops
directly related to the execution of search warrants; (v) stops as part of targeted task force
prostitution and drug enforcement stings which sole purpose is to identify and arrest persons who
engage in or attempt to engage in the targeted unlawful conduct; (vi) stops related to the
declaration of an unlawful assembly by an LAPD supervisor at the scene, and incidental stops
related to crowd control; (vii) consensual stops except when such stops are followed by a pat-down/frisk, search or seizure (other than searches or seizures incident to an arrest), preparation of
a field interview card, citation or arrest.
33. The terms "Police Commission" or "Commission" mean the Los Angeles Board
of Police Commissioners, as established in the Charter.
34. The term "police officer" or "officer" means any law enforcement officer
employed by the LAPD, including supervisors and managers.
35. The term "specified audit" means those audits required under paragraphs 128,
129, 131, 132, 136, 137, and 138 of this Agreement.
36. The term "sting audits" means those audits described in paragraph 97.
37. The term "supervisor" means a police officer with oversight responsibility for
other officers and includes managers.
38. The term "use of force" means a reportable use of force incident as defined
in Section 4/245.05 of the LAPD manual as of October 1, 2000.