Sam Walker: Local Police Outpace “Arrogant” FBI in Accountability


Samuel Walker, a criminologist and police accountability watchdog, says that while many municipal police departments have become more open and accountable, the FBI is “not part of that world,” reports The New York Times reported last year that the agency failed to find agents at fault in more than 150 consecutive shootings dating to 1993. The story said the FBI did not consider an agent’s record of past shootings when investigating a new incident. Walker called that “just crazy.”

Walker said it appeared that the FBI does not follow the “best practices” protocols now used in many local police agencies, including early-intervention systems to identify problem officers. “The FBI has a long history of being insular, being arrogant,” Walker said. “They really think they have nothing to learn from local police, which is a mistake because a lot of local police departments have made significant progress.” Walker said the FBI probably should have some form of a citizen review board, “but I'm not optimistic that it's about to be done.”

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