Nicholas Young, the first police officer to face terrorism charges in the U.S., is on trial this week. He was investigated for six years before he was arrested last year over Google Play gift cards that authorities say he thought would be used by Islamic State recruits.
Mayor Bill de Blasio and City Council members agreed on a measure to tighten restrictions on police stops. Activists said the legislation doesn’t go far enough; a police union leader complained of “second-guessing for our police officers.”
Staggered by civil rights violations, corruption convictions and the unsolved killing of a homicide detective, the Baltimore Police Department is closing out its dismal year with a depleted force struggling to contain soaring violent crime while trying to restore wavering public trust, says the Baltimore Sun.
Once-praised San Antonio police officer Michael Garza was later fired for drinking on duty, failing to seek medical help for a wounded woman, and chasing down and shooting an unarmed suspect. He became one of the hundreds of fired officers across the nation who have been rehired after arbitrators overturned police chiefs’ decisions.
Chicago police have the nation’s largest deployment of body cameras. The pilot program was launched in 2015 and was expanded to six more districts in 2016. The initial rollout was planned over two years, but at the end of 2016 the expansion was expedited and the rollout was completed one year ahead of schedule.
A Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department list now includes about 300 deputies with histories of dishonesty and similar misconduct, the Los Angeles Times reports. The list is so tightly controlled that it can be seen by only a handful of high-ranking sheriff’s officials. Not even prosecutors can access it. Amid growing public scrutiny over police misconduct, Sheriff Jim McDonnell wants to give the names on the list to prosecutors.
“The best tool for police accountability available today is the smartphone in someone’s pocket,” said an American Civil Liberties Union lawyer who helped an activist and a former student collect damages for officers who blocked them from taking photos of police activity.
The International Association of Chiefs of Police has several new initiatives aimed at officer trauma. One focuses on collective healing within a police department and the community after a mass-casualty event. Another concentrates on improving resiliency to everyday trauma among officers.
The Charlottesville Police Department was ill prepared, not properly trained and devised a “flawed operational plan” for the white supremacist rally in the city on August 12, says an independent report by the city released Friday. The report was prepared by Timothy Heaphy, a former U.S. Attorney hired by the city to review the incident.