Kentucky’s “Blue Lives Matter” law makes it a hate crime to target police officers, a legislative trend sweeping a number of states. At the same time, lawmakers in New York, Connecticut and Illinois are responding to surging reports of hate crimes against racial, religious and ethnic minorities by trying to strengthen laws and policies that target criminal bias.
Confronted with people clearly in need of treatment and social services, law enforcement officers need a way to respond, because they know they’ll see them again. A new approach gaining traction across the country offers “a public health approach to better public safety.”
“Confrontation is not an effective way of getting truthful information,” says Shane Sturman of the Wicklander-Zulawski training firm, which is stopping use of the “Reid technique” to avoid the risk of false confessions.
Example found in North Carolina study: If you are black and were driving in Evanston, Il., in 2014, it was seven times more likely than if you were white that if police officers stopped your car, they would search you,
Nearly half of Pennsylvania’s 2,500 municipalities rely solely on state police for protection. Facing a $3 billion budget deficit, Gov. Tom Wolf has proposed a $25-per-resident fee to pay for what some regard as special service.
More than 1,000 inmates in the Chicago facility have been awaiting trial for more than two years. In extreme cases, inmates have been held without trial for more than eight years. Many simply can’t afford to pay bond, but the system is also crippled by police officers who fail to show up for scheduled court appearances.
Officers in Columbia will ask motorists to sign a search consent form if they don’t have a warrant or probable cause. If the driver declines to consent, that will be noted on the form and the officer will need to request a court warrant. Current policy allows searches based on the driver’s verbal permission.
Distracted-driving fatalities continue to climb, but police say texting while driving is trending upward–even though motorists are well aware of the danger. “It’s everyone, kids, older people — everyone,” says a Massachusetts cop. “When I stop someone, they say, ‘You’re right. I know it’s dangerous, but I heard my phone go off and I had to look at it.'”
Politico said its survey of 71 mayors showed city leaders believe race relations are improving, yet they are still dissatisfied with the chasm separating white officers from communities of color. Two-thirds acknowledged that their police force doesn’t reflect the racial makeup of their city.