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FROM THIS EPISODE

A recent report says the Los Angeles Police Department has lived down the Rampart Scandal and Rodney King beating. Should a federal consent decree come to an end? Should the police be exempted from budget cuts facing every other department? We talk with the Chief and others. On our rebroadcast of today's To the Point, the astronauts are ready to come back to Earth on Friday. We hear about upgrading the Hubble Space Telescope, what age-old questions it's now prepared to address and whether manned space flight has a future.


Banner image: A Los Angeles police car burns in the street after being turned over by rioters 29 April 1992. Rioting broke out after the acquittal of four police officers accused of beating black motorist Rodney King in 1991. Photo: STF/AFP/Getty Images

Producers:
Sonya Geis
Christian Bordal
Gary Scott

Main Topic Has the Federal Consent Decree Improved the LAPD? 26 MIN, 1 SEC

After the Rodney King beating in 1991 and the Rampart corruption scandal of 1999, the federal Department of Justice threatened to sue the Los Angeles Police Department over a pattern and practice of misconduct. The compromise was a “consent decree,” which gave a federal court the authority to monitor reforms. Chief Bill Bratton would like that to come to an end.

Guests:
Christopher Stone, Harvard University
William Bratton, Los Angeles Police Department
Connie Rice, Advancement Project in Los Angeles (@ConnieRicePCN)
Bill Rosendahl, Los Angeles City Council (@Bill_Rosendahl)

Main Topic The Hubble and the Future of Space Exploration 26 MIN, 48 SEC

The repairs are done, the spacewalking is over and the Shuttle Atlantis has disengaged from the Hubble Space Telescope. John Grunsfeld, an astronaut and an astronomer, summed up the importance of this week's mission by calling the Hubble “arguably the most important scientific instrument ever created,” important enough for him and others to risk their lives walking in space for five days to make repairs. Now it's almost time to come home. We look at what they did and what the Hubble might find as it looks back farther than ever toward the origin of the universe and the beginning of time. We also consider what's next for the manned space program. Would a return to the Moon and a visit to Mars be cheaper and more effective with robots? 

Guests:
David Leckrone, Senior Project Scientist for Hubble, NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center
Jonathan McDowell, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (@planet4589)
Jennifer Wiseman, Chief of the ExoPlanets and Stellar Astrophysics Lab, Goddard Space Flight Center

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