A forthcoming paper in the Columbia Law Review argues that calls to disband or defund police agencies should not be dismissed out of hand. The authors argue that reassessing the function of institutions that are failing to live up to their mission “should be routine in a properly functioning democracy.”
The prohibition of chokeholds, “except in situations where the use of deadly force is allowed by law,” is part of the new Standards of Certification to be used by police agencies around the country, under President Trump’s June Executive Order 13929, “Safe Policing for Safe Communities.”
A study by the Data Collaborative for Justice (DCJ) at John Jay College of Criminal Justice found that in 2018, there were 5.8 enforcement actions against Black people for every one enforcement against a white person.
While U.S. housing and education have begun to confront structural bias, the criminal justice system hasn’t, a panel at John Jay College was told Thursday. “You cannot be in this nation and not be aware of the extraordinary toxicity the police and the law do and have always done.” said criminologist David Kennedy.
An analysis of 20 years of budget increases for Los Angeles Police Department explains how staffing growth consumed a larger share of city revenues – and why activists’ hopes to “defund” the department will take much longer to realize if the current pace is any indication.
Legislative proposals to reform policing show little sign of losing momentum more than two months after the death of George Floyd. Several states already have enacted new laws and lawmakers in 31 states have proposed about 450 more bills, with a number of special legislative sessions in the works.
Protesters in Portland, Louisville, and Chicago clashed with police in what have persisted as nightly protests of policing. In Portland, protesters briefly set fire to a police union building. Louisville’s street-clogging caravans in the city’s entertainment district have now been banned, while in Chicago looting and gunfire were reported in the Magnificent Mile shopping district.
Montgomery County, Md., legislators have resisted sweeping changes in the “defund police” mold, but stark racial disparities in traffic stops and car searches have sparked interest in putting civilians in charge of speeding and red-light enforcement.
Modeled on restorative justice, an effective process of police accountability should take responsibility for the harm caused by a legacy of racism, writes the executive director of Equal Justice USA. Several U.S. police departments have already put it in practice.