DOJ Civil Rights Division Reviews Its Police Reform Work

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The U.S. Department of Justice issued what it calls a comprehensive report on the Civil Rights Division’s police reform work under the 1994 federal crime law. DOJ said the report “is designed to serve as a resource for local law enforcement agencies and communities by making the division’s police reform work more accessible and transparent.” It examines the history of the law, the methodology of “pattern-or-practice” civil rights investigations, negotiation of reform agreements, the current reform model and its rationale. DOJ published a Police Reform Finder that allows users to search how reform agreements have addressed specific policing issues.

“We hope stakeholders find our report and interactive tool useful in our collective efforts to advance constitutional policing, strengthen police-community trust and promote officer and public safety,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Vanita Gupta, head of the Civil Rights Division. Since 2009, the division has opened 25 investigations into law enforcement agencies and is currently enforcing 19 agreements, including 14 consent decrees and one post-judgment order.

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