Some are advocating outside oversight for police in DeKalb County, Ga., where police have shot and killed 12 people this year, reports the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The latest death came last week when a DeKalb officer shot a woman after she lunged at the officer with a knife, police say. Most large police departments, including Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia and Minneapolis, have some form of civilian oversight, usually in the form of a civilian review board.
But in metro Atlanta, except for a sporadically used review board in the city of Atlanta, civilians have no formal role in overseeing major police agencies. Earlier this month, the Journal-Constitution examined internal reports of 31 shootings from 2001 to 2005 and found that officers had patterns of violating department policy, such as forcing confrontations with armed suspects without backup, shooting into moving cars and neglecting safety rules for handling suspects once they were in custody. Most of the officers involved were not disciplined, and the department did not address the pattern of violations in its training programs.