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/ DEVELOPMENTS IN LOS ANGELES COUNTY

City Panel OKs Request for U.S. Study of Rampart

March 21, 2000

LOS ANGELES — A City Council committee Monday passed a motion urging the U.S. Department of Justice to form a task force comprised of investigators and prosecutors probing the alleged criminal activities of LAPD officers assigned to Rampart Division's anti-gang unit.

The three-member Public Safety Committee agreed that the Justice Department should establish a group of federal, state and local law enforcement officials assigned to investigate and prosecute cases related to the scandal.

The council is set to take up the motion--presented by Councilman Mike Feuer--on Wednesday.

In other Rampart-related matters, the committee voted to reject a motion by Councilman Joel Wachs calling for an independent outside investigation of the scandal. Wachs is expected to reintroduce his motion to the full council later this week.

The committee also passed a proposal by Councilwoman Jackie Goldberg calling on the Police Commission to reaffirm its support of a special rule that strictly limits the LAPD's role in handling suspects who are in the country illegally.

According to federal sources, members of Rampart's anti-gang unit systematically circumvented city policy by colluding with a little-known unit of the Immigration and Naturalization Service to deport at least 160 Latino immigrants and deny others citizenship.

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