This consent decree sought to address allegations that the New Orleans Police Department (NOPD) engages in a pattern and practice of civil rights violations and unconstitutional policing. In developing the decree, the investigators consulted with community leaders and members, police officers, police officer unions, civilian NOPD members, advocates, and other concerned individuals.
With regard to improving the law enforcement response to sexual assault, NOPD agreed to develop a mechanism to select and permit a committee of representatives from the community, including rape crisis advocates, service providers, and/or legal providers, to review, on a semi-annual basis: (1) sexual assault investigations disposed of as “unfounded;” (2) a random sample of open sexual assault investigations with the approval of the DA; and (3) after the first year of this Agreement, reported sexual assaults placed in a miscellaneous or non-criminal category. NOPD agreed to develop a protocol to ensure that feedback and recommendations from this committee are incorporated into policies, general training, remedial training for specific officers or detectives, and the decision to re-examine and re-open investigations, if warranted. Additional provisions were also included to improve the law enforcement response to domestic violence.