The rapid emergence of body cameras, cellphone hacking devices, license plate scanners, facial-recognition software and more gives authorities access to broad data on individuals who often have no clue how the information about them is gathered, stored and shared. Legislators are having trouble keeping up with the new technologies.
A total of 179 of the 186 excessive-force complaints filed against Tucson police officers from 2010 to last July were found to have been unsubstantiated. A criminologist says the “remarkably small” rate of discipline is par with other police departments.
The former Gwinnett officers, Michael Bongiovanni and Robert McDonald, were fired after videos captured them beating and kicking a motorist who was not resisting them. They face charges of misdemeanor battery and violating their oath of office, a felony.
Citing fear over church and school shootings, a megachurch near Birmingham seeks the right to hire its own police officers “to protect the safety and integrity of the church and its ministries.” The ACLU predicts that any law allowing a church-based police force would be struck down as unconstitutional.
While many California law enforcement agencies say officers don’t enforce federal immigration policies, their own police manuals seem to suggest otherwise, offering advice on how suspected illegal immigrants can be stopped and questioned. Many of the agencies use template manuals from Lexipol, a company that drafts policies for law enforcers.
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,