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More Diversity Urged for Rampart Review Panel

May 23, 2000

LOS ANGELES — Several members of the City Council on Monday continued to assail the Police Commission's Rampart scandal review panel, saying it still does not reflect the city's diversity.

"There should be more balance," said Councilman Mark Ridley-Thomas, who appeared before the council's Public Safety Committee to complain about the composition of the citizen panel probing the police scandal. "If they can't put a panel together properly, how is it they can expect anyone to have confidence in anything they produce?"

Also questioning the efforts were Council members Rita Walters and Joel Wachs.

"It has to be more than investigation," Wachs said. "It has to be a redefining of the nature of policing in today's society. All of the people affected by that have to be a part of the inquiry."

Richard Drooyan, the general counsel to the Independent Review Panel, told the Public Safety Committee that the criticism is misplaced.

"The credibility of the panel is critical," Drooyan said. "We have reached out to try to broaden our panel to make sure we have diverse members, diverse viewpoints and diverse opinions."

Of the 124 panel members, 34 are female, 13 are Latino, 17 are African American and eight are Asian American. Drooyan told the committee that the panel was acting independently of the LAPD.

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