University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
Title "What Happens When Police Are Forced to Reform?"
Date Nov 13, 2015
Author Kimbriell Kelly, Sarah Childress and Steven Rich
Author Institution Frontline/Post
External Link http://stories.frontline.org/what-happens-when-police-are-forced-to-reform
Abstract About this story: Over the past two decades, Justice has undertaken its deepest interventions at 16 departments that had patterns of excessive or deadly force, implementing reforms under the watch of independent monitors. To examine the impact, Washington Post and FRONTLINE reporters surveyed the departments, visiting four of the cities. They interviewed officials, federal monitors and civil rights advocates. They also reviewed use-of-force data, monitoring reports and local budgets.

Over the past two decades, Justice has undertaken its deepest interventions at 16 departments that had patterns of excessive or deadly force, implementing reforms under the watch of independent monitors. More than its predecessors, the Obama administration has aggressively pursued police departments over the abuses, recently launching probes after individuals died as a result of encounters with police in Baltimore and Ferguson, Mo.

The question is whether such interventions work. The Justice Department has not studied the long-term outcomes at the law enforcement agencies it has targeted. To examine the impact, reporters surveyed the departments, visiting four cities. They interviewed officials, federal monitors and civil rights advocates. They also reviewed use-of-force data, monitoring reports and local budgets. The reforms have led to modernized policies, new equipment and better training, police chiefs, city leaders, activists and Justice officials agree. But measured by incidents of use of force, one of Justice’s primary metrics, the outcomes are mixed. In five of the 10 police departments for which sufficient data was provided, use of force by officers increased during and after the agreements. In five others, it stayed the same or declined.

This is also posted at the Washington Post.
Citation Washington Post (Nov. 13, 2015)


This Resource Relates To
case cause42 U.S.C. § 14141

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