It is “very misleading” for the news media to assert that police slayings of civilians in the U.S. are up since the Michael Brown case in 2014 in Ferguson, Bradley Campbell tells the American Society of Criminology. The average number of police killings nationwide has been steady at about 19 per week before and after Brown’s death.
Many cash-strapped jurisdictions around the U.S. have established a competitive bidding process for prosecutions. That’s creating a challenge to the fair administration of justice around the U.S., says a Brigham Young University study.
Five months before Michael Brown’s death, African-American students at his St. Louis high school gave one educator a striking lesson in the importance of empowering role models. The national debate since then continues to miss the point.
One year after the release of the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing, it is difficult to overstate the importance of transparency for institutions that have been largely opaque, such as major city law enforcement agencies across the country.
Despite speculation that police anger over anti-cop protests following the 2014 killing of an unarmed young black man by a white police officer in Ferguson, Mo. led to an increase in crime, recent data shows no change in crime trends aside from an increase in robberies, researchers say.
Since 1994, the Department of Justice (DOJ) has investigated and reached settlements with more than 20 state and local police agencies. Much controversy surrounds these so-called “consent decrees,” which have mandated reforms of police practices in agencies ranging from the municipal forces of Los Angeles, New Orleans and Albuquerque, to state agencies like the New Jersey State Police. Investigations of Ferguson, MO and Baltimore, MD are currently underway. Do these consent decrees actually reduce officer use-of-force and racial profiling? Have they significantly improved policing in the agencies investigated?
The Justice Department’s twin reports on Ferguson this March raised two disturbing questions about the media. • How did so many news organizations fail for so long to realize that “Hands Up, Don't Shoot” was a myth? • How did so many news organizations fail for so many years to uncover deeply unconstitutional police and court practices? One hopes those questions would prompt soul-searching. For the most part, they haven't.
Photo by Loavesofbread, via Wikipedia When St. Louis resident Tory Russell saw Michael Brown's body last August 9, it set in motion a series of events that altered his life. An African-American day laborer who was working in a suburb five miles from Ferguson, the 31-year-old Russell had seen a photo a few minutes after Brown was shot, tweeted by one of Brown's neighbors. It showed Brown dead in the street. Two hours later came another: Brown's body was still in the street.