Federal Review Finds Systematic Problems In New Orleans Police Dept.

A federal review of the New Orleans Police Department has found the department used excessive force; made unconstitutional stops, searches and arrests; engaged in biased policing based on race, ethnicity and sexual orientation; failed to provide effective policing services to those with limited English proficiency; and systematically failure to investigate sexual assaults and domestic violence.

The review by the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division confirmed systemic failures in the notorious NOPD which they said “developed over a long period of time.” The report comes after the Civil Rights Division has spent nearly a year virtually camped out in New Orleans monitoring the operation of the NOPD.“Unfortunately, our conclusions reveal that many NOPD officers have failed to live up to what we rightfully expect from our law enforcement officers,” Deputy Attorney General James Cole said at a news conference in New Orleans.

“The overwhelming and undeniable facts discovered throughout this investigation show reasonable cause to believe that the New Orleans Police Department has engaged in a pattern or practice of unconstitutional conduct,” Cole said. “Because of this, it has failed to provide the protection the people of New Orleans should expect from their police department.”

Among the findings: the NOPD had failed systems for officer recruitment, promotion and evaluation; inadequate training; inadequate supervision; and lacked community oversight.

The full report is here.