The Justice Department paperwork, first reported by the Daily News of New York, did not mention the merits of the other reforms requested.
In its statement, the Justice Department noted that it sought and secured reforms to police misconduct in dozens of law enforcement agencies nationwide, and gave the judge citations to peruse the cases. It singled out as a particular success a consent decree in Pittsburgh in 1997 where reforms were overseen by a monitor until 2002.
“An independent monitor can be essential to ensuring that complex institutional reform is achieved,” the statement said.
In those cases, the Justice Department took a lead role in litigation and reforms, but it has not in the case against the NYPD. However, it is significant that the government is weighing in on the issue.
City lawyers argued the department does a good job policing itself with an internal affairs bureau, a civilian complaint board and quality assurance divisions.
Judge Scheindlin did not say when she would rule but promised it would be timely.
As for whether the city would appeal the ruling if a monitor is imposed, “it’s all hypothetical,” Bloomberg said. “We feel very strongly that we are doing what’s right to protect the public, and we’re doing it within the law.”