Four different groups are asking a Federal judge to give them a more direct role in reforming the New Orleans Police Department.
They asked to intervene in the consent decree that's currently being hammered out by the U.S. Department of Justice because they say, among other things, that they didn't get enough input.
The Justice Department fired back in a court filing Wednesday.
“It's gone as well as it can possibly go,” said Mayor Mitch Landrieu about the Consent Decree process.
After more than a year of negotiations, the NOPD is in the final stages of the federal intervention.
“Our responsibility was to represent during the negotiations the points of view of the New Orleans Police Department. We did much information gathering. We've had a lot of people look hard at the decisions that we've made. And at this point, it's really up to Judge Morgan,” said NOPD Superintendent Ronal Serpas.
But four key stakeholders argue their points of view weren't heard:the two police unions, the group Community United for Change and Independent Police Monitor Susan Hutson.
They're all asking the court to make them "interveners." “By being an intervener, they would not be just a friend of the court, but they would be a party before the court, which would give them additional rights,” said Loyola Law Professor Dane Ciolino.
Hutson argued that she would have to share information on investigations and complaints with the Federal monitor, but the monitor wouldn't have to reciprocate. “Her job is significantly different in scope and in size and in value from what the federal monitor does, so we don't want to duplicate services, but the federal judge will figure that out,” Mayor Landrieu said.
“They don't want duplication, that means they don't want us and the Federal monitor decides they want to do it, then we're kind of cut out of the process,” Hutson said.
The justice department argued in response that the police monitor will continue to carry out her work during and long after the consent decree is removed, and that input from her and the public was extensive.The government also argued that the public can give their input in writing to the court in the form of a brief.
Plus, they say the Judge is planning to hold a hearing on the overall consent decree on Aug. 29.