By Robert Snell The Detroit News DETROIT — Detroit police have complied with 83 percent of federal court orders relating to use of force and inmate treatment, the department's federal monitor said in a new progress report Thursday.
The report, filed in federal court, shows continued improvement after nine years of court oversight.
In the last quarterly report, Detroit was complying with 80 percent of reforms.
Detroit agreed in 2003 to comply with two federal court orders to settle lawsuits brought by the Justice Department over allegations of police brutality, detention of innocent homicide witnesses and unsafe holding cells where many prisoners died.
The reforms included making the department's jail cells safe, installing working video cameras in squad cars and improving policies on issues such as how to conduct arrests and the use of batons and other nonlethal force.
The court order on use of force was supposed to take five years to comply with; the order on jail cells two years.
The department's federal monitor, Robert Warshaw, credited Chief Ralph Godbee and Mayor Dave Bing.
"The support and leadership of Mayor Dave Bing has unquestionably been instrumental in the changes we have begun to see in the Detroit Police Department," Warshaw wrote.
Warshaw noted a few shortcomings.
"We continue to be concerned with the quality and comprehensiveness of reviews in several areas, including investigations regarding use of force and citizen complaints," Warshaw wrote.
" … In the detention settings, we remained concerned with medical and mental health screening, prisoner observation and related practices, and also with levels of facility lighting."
The latest report is a vast improvement from last year.
Copyright 2012 The Detroit News
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