Cops are more likely to think their lives are threatened when they apprehend suspects in jurisdictions with high rates of gun ownership—and to react with deadly force—whether or not the individual is actually armed. That’s one of the findings in an American Academy of Political and Social Science research project aimed at demonstrating that police killings of civilians are a “solvable” problem.
In the 1960s, NYPD detective Frank Serpico, played by Al Pacino in a 1973 film, risked his life to expose police corruption and misconduct. Modern-day Serpicos are still largely unprotected, exacerbating the “culture of silence” in American policing, policing experts and former cops tell The Crime Report.
Charles Ramsey, who led police departments in Philadelphia and Washington, D.C., found common ground with Black Lives Matter activist DeRay Mckesson on the need for police reform in a conversation Wednesday. “Too many cops…are on the job that should not be on the job,” Ramsey said.
Removing the legal restraints against suing police for misconduct won’t “usher in a new age of government accountability,” says a UCLA law professor. But, it may still help judges focus on whether constitutional rights have been violated.
Black suspects are twice as likely to be killed by police than other racial or ethnic groups, “even when there are no other obvious circumstances during the encounter that would make the use of deadly force reasonable,” says a new study published in the Boston University Law Review.
After a Florida police organization posted on Facebook this month inviting officers in Atlanta, Buffalo and other cities where police have been disciplined or fired, to apply for jobs, a national storm over the impact of rehiring officers disciplined elsewhere blew up—adding to the growing debate over how to ensure police accountability.
All of us have collaborated in the social construction of a reality that led to an African-American man’s death under the knee of a white Minneapolis cop. We are as responsible as the three other policemen who watched without speaking up, writes TCR’s legal columnist.
Cops who are fired for misconduct are likely to repeat the same offense if they get a second law enforcement job, according to a Yale study. The risks to communities posed by these so-called “wandering officers” could be addressed with a reinforced national database of decertified officers, accompanied by stricter state record-keeping, say the study authors.
Among all the costliest claims against the city of Baltimore, those alleging police wrongdoing amounted to about 70% of the list. One big driver of pending lawsuits: the city’s Gun Trace Task Force scandal.
Sexual abuse or harassment by police is slowly beginning to receive attention from training academies and state legislatures. But in many agencies, the issue is often swept under the rug, a TCR investigation shows.