In January 1999, Attorney General Lockyer issued a new policy governing the review of complaints received by the Department of Justice that allege police misconduct by local law enforcement agencies or their employees. Complaints that have exhausted the local review process will be referred to both the Criminal Law Division and the Civil Rights Enforcement Section for review and appropriate action.

In the late spring of 1999, after concluding that the four officers who were involved in the shooting death of Tyisha Miller in Riverside, California, should not be criminally charged, the Attorney General launched what is believed to be the first civil investigation of a local law enforcement agency ever conducted by his office. On March 5, 2001, Attorney General Lockyer filed a complaint and stipulated judgment in People of the State of California, etc. v. City of Riverside, Riverside County Superior Court Case No. 355410.

This stipulated judgment resolved a nearly two-year civil rights investigation into the practices and policies of the City of Riverside Police Department. It is believed that this is the first consent decree to reform a local police department ever secured by a state attorney general under state law. The judgment, which will remain in effect for a period of five years, requires the Riverside Police Department to implement reforms in areas of training, supervision, and accountability. The City of Riverside will be required to pay the cost of a consultant to assist the Attorney General in monitoring compliance with the terms of the judgment.