RIVERSIDE, Calif. (AP) _ The City Council voted Tuesday to accept the California attorney general's plan to reform the police force in the wake of the fatal 1998 shooting of a black motorist.

The council voted 6-1 to approve a settlement agreement that, among other things, calls for upgrading training and placing video cameras in police cars.

The pact, similar to a federal consent decree, is the first of its kind in California, Lockyer said. Riverside is 60 miles east of Los Angeles.

The Police Department came under scrutiny following the Dec. 28, 1998, killing of Tyisha Miller, 19, by officers who said she appeared to be unconscious in a locked, parked car with a gun on her lap. The officers broke the car's window to retrieve the weapon, then shot her 12 times when she awoke and appeared to reach for the gun.

Miller did not fire the gun, and investigators later determined that it was inoperable.

Miller's family and minority residents believed the shooting was racially motivated because Miller was black and the officers are white.

The Riverside County district attorney and Attorney General Bill Lockyer found no evidence of criminal wrongdoing, but the officers were subsequently fired for violating department policy. The police chief at the time, Jerry Carroll, stepped down.

The 20-page settlement document sets a series of deadlines over five years for the 474-member department to increase training and supervision of officers and reform complaint procedures. The video cameras will go in about half the city's police cars.

``These are basic 21st century management practices that any police force would be proud to have in place. It's a commitment to excellence,'' Police Chief Russ Leach said.


On the Net: http://www.ci.riverside.ca.us/Default.htm