University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name DOJ Investigation of Harvey Police Department PN-IL-0011
Docket / Court docket unknown ( No Court )
State/Territory Illinois
Case Type(s) Policing
Attorney Organization U.S. Dept. of Justice Civil Rights Division
Case Summary
Case summary not yet recorded
On December 12, 2008, the Special Litigation Section of the United States Department of Justice Civil Rights Division (DOJ) initiated an investigation of the City of Harvey, Illinois Police Department (HPD), pursuant to the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994, 42 U.S.C. § 14141.

On January 18, 2012, the DOJ issued their findings. Though the DOJ did not find there to be a pattern or practice of constitutional or federal law violations, they did conclude that there were serious deficiencies in the operation of the HPD to create an unreasonable risk that constitutional violations will occur. Specifically, the DOJ noted a failure to provide sufficient descriptions of the nature of resistance encountered, often employing one-word descriptions. This made it practically impossible to know whether officers were using the appropriate amount of force. Such descriptions were casually reviewed by supervisors and rubber-stamped. Accordingly, the DOJ made recommendations for remedial measures concerning reporting, reviewing, and investigating use of force. They recommended reworking HPD's policies for the use of force, requiring watch commanders to respond to the scene of any incidents, implementing an early invention system, modifying internal affairs investigations, and revising the process of handling citizen complaints against officers.

The DOJ investigation was closed following these recommendations and has not been reopened.

Richard Jolly - 11/26/2014


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Due Process
Unreasonable search and seizure
Defendant-type
Law-enforcement
General
Excessive force
Incident/accident reporting & investigations
Plaintiff Type
U.S. Dept of Justice plaintiff
Special Case Type
Out-of-court
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 14141
Defendant(s) Harvey Police Department
Plaintiff Description DOJ investigation of use of force by the Harvey Police Department
Indexed Lawyer Organizations U.S. Dept. of Justice Civil Rights Division
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Prevailing Party None Yet / None
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief None
Source of Relief None
Case Closing Year 2012
Case Ongoing No
Additional Resources
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  New York City to Pay Up to $75 Million Over Dismissed Summonses
New York Times
Date: Jan. 23, 2017
By: Benjamin Weiser (New York Times)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  The Civil Rights Division’s Pattern and Practice Police Reform Work: 1994-Present
https://www.justice.gov/
Date: Jan. 4, 2017
By: U.S. Department of Justice (U.S. Department of Justice)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  An Interactive Guide to the Civil Rights Division’s Police Reforms
https://www.justice.gov/
Date: Jan. 4, 2017
By: U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division (U.S. Department of Justice)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  Bravo v. Board of Commissioners of Dona Ana County
http://www.bazelon.org/
Date: 2017
By: The Bazelon Center (The Bazelon Center)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  What Happens When Police Are Forced to Reform?
Date: Nov. 13, 2015
By: Kimbriell Kelly, Sarah Childress and Steven Rich (Frontline/Post)
Citation: Washington Post (Nov. 13, 2015)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  Federal Enforcement of Police Reform
Date: 2014
By: Stephen Rushin (University of Illinois College of Law, University of California, Berkeley - Jurisprudence and Social Policy Program )
Citation: 82 Fordham Law Review 3189 (2014)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

Docket(s)
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General Documents
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