University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name DOJ Investigation of Riverside Police Department PN-CA-0037
Docket / Court docket unknown ( No Court )
State/Territory California
Case Type(s) Policing
Attorney Organization U.S. Dept. of Justice Civil Rights Division
Case Summary
After the fatal police shooting of a black teenager on December 28, 1998, the Department of Justice launched a civil investigation into the Riverside Police Department's use of force and treatment of minorities on July 8, 1999. The investigation was conducted jointly with the U.S. Attorney's Office ... read more >
After the fatal police shooting of a black teenager on December 28, 1998, the Department of Justice launched a civil investigation into the Riverside Police Department's use of force and treatment of minorities on July 8, 1999. The investigation was conducted jointly with the U.S. Attorney's Office in Los Angeles. This partnership was likely due to the simultaneous announcement of the formation of a Civil Rights Section within the U.S. Attorney's Office with the launch of this investigation.

The offices began the investigation to determine whether the police department has engaged in a pattern or practice of law enforcement misconduct, including using excessive force and discriminating in the way it provides police services. This case was complicated by the fact the Riverside Police Department had been receiving financial assistance from the Justice Department, which made it additionally prohibited from engaging in discriminatory misconduct.

On March 5, 2001, the Office of the Attorney General filed a complaint and stipulated judgment in People of the State of California v. City of Riverside. (This case is in the Clearinghouse under PN-CA-0014). The judgment, which remained in effect for a period of five years, required the Riverside Police Department to implement reforms in the areas of training, supervision, and accountability. The City of Riverside was required to pay the cost of a consultant to assist the Attorney General in monitoring compliance with the terms of the judgment.

On March 2, 2006, the Attorney General, after concluding that the Riverside Police Department had fulfilled the conditions of the judgment, requested and received formal approval from the court for the judgment's dissolution.

It does not appear that the Department of Justice took any further actions after the initial joint investigation.

Ginny Lee - 04/05/2017


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Discrimination-basis
Race discrimination
General
Excessive force
Failure to discipline
Failure to supervise
Failure to train
Inadequate citizen complaint investigations and procedures
Racial profiling
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Special Case Type
Out-of-court
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 14141
Defendant(s) Riverside Police Department
Plaintiff Description Department of Justice
Indexed Lawyer Organizations U.S. Dept. of Justice Civil Rights Division
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Order Duration 2001 - 2006
Filing Year 1999
Case Closing Year 2006
Case Ongoing No
Case Listing PN-CA-0014 : People of the State of California v. City of Riverside (State Court)
Additional Resources
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  Data examining the Department of Justice's civil rights investigations of local and state police departments
Marshall Project
Date: Jan. 17, 2017
By: Tom Meagher (Marshall Project)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  The Civil Rights Division’s Pattern and Practice Police Reform Work: 1994-Present
https://www.justice.gov/
Date: Jan. 4, 2017
By: U.S. Department of Justice
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  An Interactive Guide to the Civil Rights Division’s Police Reforms
https://www.justice.gov/
Date: Jan. 4, 2017
By: U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division (U.S. Department of Justice)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  What Happens When Police Are Forced to Reform?
Date: Nov. 13, 2015
By: Kimbriell Kelly, Sarah Childress and Steven Rich (Frontline/Post)
Citation: Washington Post (Nov. 13, 2015)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  Federal Enforcement of Police Reform
Date: 2014
By: Stephen Rushin (University of Illinois College of Law, University of California, Berkeley - Jurisprudence and Social Policy Program Faculty)
Citation: 82 Fordham Law Review 3189 (2014)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

Docket(s)
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General Documents
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