For years during the Obama administration, the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services, or COPS, had issued public reports about problems it found in individual local departments. Attorney General Jeff Sessions is ending that practice, calling it a “course correction.” The ACLU called the move “truly appalling.”
The Civilian Office of Police Accountability replaces the Independent Police Review Authority, which will end after a decade marked by questionable investigations, long delays and rare attempts at disciplining cops. The new agency was forged in the firestorm prompted 22 months ago by video of a police officer shooting black teenager Laquan McDonald.
The firing of Chief Tom Lewis is the latest development in a bizarre case that has roiled the drowsy retirement town of Punta Gorda. An officer, believing he was firing blanks, shot and killed a retired librarian in August 2016 during a shoot/don’t shoot training exercise for citizens.
The veteran police lieutenant from suburban Atlanta apparently was attempting to use sarcasm to deal with a woman who feared being shot during a traffic stop. It failed. His boss called his comments “inexcusable and inappropriate.”
Nurse Alex Wubbels refused a cop’s request that she draw blood from someone involved in car wreck, citing a hospital policy concerning the rights of unconscious patients. So Salt Lake City Detective Jeff Payne arrested her. Video of the confrontation has gone viral.
The lawsuit by Lisa Madigan, the state’s top law enforcement official, contends that Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s reforms are not sufficient to prevent the Chicago Police Department from continuing a pattern of deadly and excessive force that disproportionately hurts African-Americans and Latinos.
A preliminary draft report by the U.S. Department of Justice suggests that Milwaukee police communicate poorly, make too many traffic stops, and apply inconsistent standards when disciplining officers. The DOJ said the MPD has given too little attention to nurturing trust with “the people they protect and serve.”
A 30-year Florida Highway Patrol veteran is taking early retirement after acknowledging that he wrote an e-mail in May that directed troopers to write at least two citations an hour. Ticket quotas are illegal under state law.
Students will be taught about the torture scandal involving disgraced former police commander Jon Burge and his “midnight crew” of rogue detectives. The coursework was mandated as part of a victims’ reparations agreement. The local police union said it opposes the teaching of “the Burge mythology.”