Thursday, January 24, 2019

Why don't they want to be on TV?

The city administration is famously gung-ho about putting cameras on every street corner and possibly inside every bar to surviel the populace. New Orleans was even a pioneer in the movement to put a body camera on every cop... ostensibly in order to keep an eye on the police but also on every person the police interact with.  Several prominent local politicians are, this week, publicly lobbying the NFL to extend the purview of its instant replay cameras.. for.. some reason. It is safe to say we are governed by shutterbugs. 

It's weird then that City Hall would resist the notion that they themselves be filmed on the day they receive their official grades from the police monitoring team in charge of determining their level of compliance with the NOPD federal consent decree.  Why would they not want that seen?
The hearing was already being planned before an exchange of letters a month ago laid bare tensions between city leaders and the court-appointed monitors.

Mayor LaToya Cantrell and other city officials said the NOPD considers itself to be in “93 percent compliance” with the consent decree. They asked for a speedy release from the consent decree's strict mandates, and the monitors' $2.1 million per year contract.

The city also objected to carrying the hearing on public-access television.

The monitors wrote back that they were unsure as to how the city came to the 93 percent figure, and that much work still needs to be done. Meanwhile, U.S. District Judge Susie Morgan, who oversees the reform plan, said the public and television crews would be allowed to attend the hearing.
That's weird, right?  Suddenly so shy. We know they're eager to be finished with this whole thing.  The letter they wrote last month had all kinds of complaints.  Mostly, though, it seems like they're tired of having to spend over $2 million a year on the monitors. But they're so close, right?  I mean, look, they didn't even kill anybody for "nearly two years."
By some measures, the department is on its best footing in years. Between January 2017 and January 2019, New Orleans police went nearly two years without fatally shooting someone, which would have been almost unimaginable a decade ago. Meanwhile, last year the city logged its lowest homicide count since 1971.

Yet the monitors have warned that the NOPD still needs to prove its supervisors are effectively overseeing their beat cops, and that those ordinary officers follow constitutional practices when they stop and frisk people on the street.
That sounds like the kind of laudable restraint, the city would want broadcasted all over... well.. public access.. but still.  Anyway, if you're looking to tune in, the show starts at 9am and you can just watch on your computer machine

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