Some critics argue that police departments shouldn’t be the judge of whether video shot by officers are released. “If it’s really a tool for accountability, perhaps the footage should be under the control of an independent entity,” Alex Vitale of Brooklyn College tells NPR.
Former Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Arizona’s Maricopa County attributes his ouster from office to President Barack Obama, as well as to the federal judge who charged him with criminal contempt of court three weeks before the general election, and the voters who turned their backs on him.
They were not convicted of criminal charges, but three Baltimore police officers involved in the 2015 death of Freddie Gray in a police van may be fired. Two other officers face five days suspension without pay. The officers may contest the charges before a trial board of fellow officers.
White Dallas police officers do not disproportionately use force against minorities, contrary to common public perceptions that they target people based on race, a study finds. “We now know that the differences that a lot of people think exist because of these horrific events that we see on TV, video footage, that’s not the norm,” said criminologist Alex Piquero of the University of Texas at Dallas.
A law adopted yesterday officers should assume members of the public are observing and possibly recording their work at all times. The ordinance says the value of video and audio recordings by the public “is keenly evident” from police shooting cases last year.
“The critical shortage of [police] officers has not improved over the past four years,” says the Metropolitan Crime Commission. “The department lacks the manpower to timely respond to calls for service and adequately address the high rate of crime.”
Scott Michael Greene pleaded guilty to killing police officers in an early-morning ambush last year, but did not suggest a motivation for the shootings. Des Moines Police Chief Dana Wingert said, “I don’t feel a sense of closure.”