Oakland Avoids Federal Takeover Of Police Department

OAKLAND (AP) — Oakland city officials have agreed to relinquish broad power over the embattled police department to a court-appointed director to avert a possible federal takeover of the force.

As part of the tentative deal announced on Wednesday, the compliance director would have the power to fire the police chief and his command staff and overrule major decisions.

The deal comes nearly a decade after a federal judge ordered reforms to settle a police brutality lawsuit in 2003.

A federal monitor appointed as part of that case said the department was stalling on completing key tasks, including tracking problem officers and reporting the use of force. The judge had threatened a federal takeover of the agency.

Wednesday’s tentative deal seeks to avoid that although it still requires the judge’s approval.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.)

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