University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
Title "Competing Case Studies of Structural Reform Litigation in American Police Departments"
Date Fall 2016
Author Stephen Rushin
Author Institution Ohio State University Moritz College of Law
Abstract In 1994, Congress passed 42 US.C. § 14141, which gives the US. Attorney General the authority to initiate structural reform litigation against police departments engaged in a pattern or practice of unconstitutional misconduct. ...Department of Justice (DOJ) has investigated and reformed dozens of police departments across the country. ...The LAPD story shows how the Department of Justice can use structural reform litigation to facilitate meaningful change in a large American police department. ...Scholars have praised the measure-in part, a response to the beating of Rodney King on the side of a Southern California highway2-as one of the most transformative tools for police reform.3 Assistant Professor, University of Alabama School of Law. ...I also owe a debt of gratitude to the editors at the Ohio State Journal of Criminal Law for their careful editing. 1 42 U.S.C. § 14141 (1994) ("Whenever the Attorney General has reasonable cause to believe that [a police department is engaged in a pattern or practice of unconstitutional conduct], the Attorney General, for or in the name of the United States, may in a civil action obtain appropriate equitable and declaratory relief to eliminate the pattern or practice."). 2 In the wake of the Rodney King beating, congressional hearings focused in part on the fact that both private litigants and the DOJ appeared to lack the necessary standing to initiate structural reform litigation against problematic police departments.
Source Ohio State Journal of Criminal Law
Citation 14 Ohio St. J. Crim. L. 113-142


This Resource Relates To
case U.S. v. City of Los Angeles (PN-CA-0002)

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