Solutions to Police Brutality.
A comprehensive package with urgent policy solutions, informed by data and research, can transform the way that police serve our communities.
The decades-old focus on minor crimes and their prevention – a practice known as Broken Windows Policing has resulted in the criminalization of communities of color, excessive force in otherwise innocent situations, and the over-policing and criminalization of these communities. Only 5% percent of all 2018 arrests were for alleged violent crimes, and only 4 % of the overall work of police is to enforce violent crime. The vast majority of arrests are made for non-violent, low-level offenses in situations that can escalate to the point of deadly force. In 2014, for example, at least 287 persons were arrested for minor offenses such as sleeping in parks, using drugs, being “suspicious”, or having mental health problems. These actions are often signs of mental illness, drug addiction, or homelessness.
Why is it so slow for officers to be charged with?
Prosecutors are well aware that the legal and public perceptions of what constitutes criminal conduct for police officers are very high. Most people believe that police officers are acting in the public’s best interest or protection if they do something. The bar for police officers being charged and convicted is higher than that for regular citizens. Therefore, it is more common for the prosecution to take longer to prove a case before they bring charges.
The time it took to bring charges against officers involved in the George Floyd case in Minneapolis was unusually short. Recent events, including Christian Cooper’s arrest in Central Park and Ahmaud Arbery’s in Georgia, to George Floyd in Minneapolis, saw smart-phone video being collected by civilians. The criminal process was made more efficient once video evidence was distributed via social media. Most often, however, officers have the opportunity to speak with the Fraternal Ord of Police and a lawyer and sometimes even to review evidence before making public statements.
Why is it that bad-acting cops are allowed to stay?
Derek Chauvin was the officer who shot George Floyd. He has been involved with at least 18 cases of police misconduct. He has been involved with police shootings and in cases most people consider police brutality. It is important to note that this is a common pattern. Both the officers who shot and killed Tamir Rice in Cleveland, 2014, as well as Antwon Rose (East Pittsburgh 2018) were both Black teens. They were fired from their previous police jobs. The Fraternal Order has often helped officers who are dismissed to resign quietly rather than being fired. Bad officers can work in another department because of this. This must change.
Internal affairs is often the first place that receives complaints about misconduct in police departments. The complaint is moved up the chain and, if it reaches the top, it is sent to internal affairs. A trial board usually includes three officers who determine if the accused officers committed misconduct. The trial board acts as their judge and jury. To be fired, an officer must have done something very egregious. There are many other options for reprimand. Officers can be placed on desk duty, taken off for paid or unpaid leave or fined with a prorated amount from future paychecks. All of these actions are usually internal to police. These actions are not usually known to the outside until the conduct decision and incident has passed. My research has shown that Black officers are punished more severely for similar misconduct than white officers.
How can we improve police accountability?
People often speak of bad apples in policing. Bad apples are from rotten tree . The rotten tree is a law enforcement agency that has been infused with structural racism. There are many factors that contribute to racism and police brutality. These include standard processes for holding officers accountable, civil payouts to victims, and the rehiring of fired officers.
What reforms can be made to improve the accountability of police officers?
My research suggests two major changes in law and practice that would reduce police brutality. First, police officers who were terminated for misconduct in the line of duty should not be allowed to return to law enforcement. The federal government is supporting this recommendation bipartisanly. It was included in Trump’s Executive Order, and the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, which were both passed in the House of Representatives.
We need to restructure civil payouts by shifting them from taxpayer money into police department insurance policies. Some of these changes are already happening at the local level. New York lawmakers suggested that each officer carry liability coverage.
- Remove language from police union contracts that restricts officer accountability
Police bills of rights and union contracts have established policies that limit police accountability. These contracts, according to the Police Union Contract Project erect at most one barrier to proper oversight for law enforcement officers’ misconduct within 72 of the US’s 81 largest municipalities.
These provisions include disqualification of some complaints from being investigated or resulting discipline, restrictions on officer interviews, options for officers for appeal for reinstatement and officer access to confidential information during investigations.
Officers are entitled to paid leave in forty-three cities and three states while they are under investigation. Fourty-three cities, and four states, erase officer misconduct records after a certain period of time. Sometimes this can be as short as two years.
An investigation by the Washington Post revealed that 451 of the 1,881 US officers who were fired because of misconduct between 2006-2017 had their jobs restored after an appeal.
Many of these cases saw arbitrators decide against police chiefs in termination cases. This was not because the officers were suspected of misconduct but because the police departments committed bureaucratic errors when disciplining officers. For example, missing deadlines.
For example, last month the Broward County Sheriff’s Office was forced to reinstate a deputy who had been fired for hiding behind his car during 2018 Parkland school shooting. Sgt. Sgt. An arbitrator ruled that Miller had violated his due process rights. Miller was reinstated and paid full back-pay.
Experts recommend that police department reform their processes for disciplinary appeals in order to ensure that misconduct is held accountable. This could mean removing arbitrators from the process, and instead allowing democratically elected officials like city councils to make the final decision.
- Resolve complaints about the use of force by officers
Most complaints against officers are not public and therefore difficult to track.
A 2019 study showed that officers who work with officers who receive complaints about excessive force are more likely than others to be subject to such complaints in the future.
More than 8,600 Chicago officers were named in multiple complaints by researchers between 2005 and 2017. Researchers found that more Chicago police officers were involved in multiple complaints between 2005 and 2017.
Andrew Papachristos (one of the co-authors) said that this link could help predict bad behavior among officers and provide departments with better information about how to intervene when and where to go before violent incidents happen.
Papachristos stated to the Chicago Tribune, “If you’re going to create an early intervention system that looks only for bad apples,” It matters a lot how we assign and pair officers. A history of abuse can have a significant impact on the behavior of officers who are not in the same boat.
Further oversight could be provided by instituting a system for tracking complaints against officers and making those data public.
A law that prevents officers from being fired for serious misconduct could make a difference.
- Increase the number of non-police agencies that can respond to emergencies
The Treatment Advocacy Center is a non-profit that estimates that at least one out of four police officers killed has a serious mental disorder.
Some officers responding to emergencies involving someone with mental illness may not have been trained in crisis management. This could lead to mismanagement that leads police violence.
Eugene’s Cahoots program, which stands to Crisis Assistance Helping Out on the Street, can help to ease those situations by responding to calls in place of or alongside police officers.
To reduce violence, it is possible to leverage crisis workers and mental healthcare providers to respond to situations involving substance abuse, mental illness crises, or homelessness.
- Encourage federal oversight for police departments
A Vice investigation shows that police shootings fell between 27% to 35% in departments that underwent federal investigations and adopted new policies.
The Department of Justice supports stricter policies against the use of force and better officer trainings. A process independent of the Department of Justice to review police killings is also recommended. Shootings took place in Philadelphia and San Francisco.
Campaign Zero proposes establishing federal investigations into all police departments in America with the highest levels of violence against police officers and the greatest racial disparities.
- Demilitarization of the country is essential
Protest scenes in the country have been united by the use of military-grade equipment by police officers against unarmed civilians.
This is due to the Pentagon’s 1033 program, which allows military surplus equipment to be sent to sheriff’s and police departments. Local law enforcement agencies have been outfitted with equipment such as bayonets and grenade launchers thanks to the program.
Research has shown that more military equipment increases the likelihood of police departments using it. A 2017 study found that receiving military equipment can “lead to a culture militarization” in police departments, leading to them “relying more on violence to solve their problems.”
Although former President Barack Obama had restricted the program in 2015 and prohibited certain equipment from being sent directly to police departments, President Donald Trump reversed that action in 2017.
Reestablishing limits on the type of gear that can be sold to local law enforcement agencies may help reduce violence and deaths caused by police.
- Use of force is subject to stricter laws
According to the International Association of Chiefs of Police , “Use Of Force” is the “amount required by police to compel compliance from an unwilling subject.”
This could include anything from using a chokehold or mace to ex-officer Chauvin’s knee on Floyd’s back.
People who are less likely to be killed by police departments with stricter policies about the use of force methods allowed will be safer.
Campaign Zero recommends that departments ban chokeholds and use deadly force only as a last resort after attempts at De-escalation, which is the strategic slowing of an incident that gives officers more time, distance and space to peacefully end conflict, have failed.
These changes and the requirement that departments report on all force used online could help reduce police violence.
Other options include:
Protecting civilians from police involvement in their lives by establishing enforceable protections against profiling. This will prevent police from interfering with their civil lives except for the “suspicion of their blackness” or other aspects. This should include:
- Immigration status, age and housing status, sexual orientation, gender identity and disability, HIV status, race as well as national origin, are protected groups
- People have the right to apply for court orders to prohibit police from profiling
- Both intentional profiling and practices with a disparate effect on protected groups should be banned
- Ban on “furtive” movements like reaching for the waistband or acting nervously
- Ban on being in high-crime areas
- Ban stops for matching a generalized description (i.e. Black male between the ages of 15 and 25
- Officers must establish an objective justification for stopping and report all stops, including the location, race, gender, force used, and firearm found.
- Stop using predictive policing technology. It uses systematically biased data to improve police profiling black people and their communities.
- Police departments are prohibited from using their resources to investigate, interrogate and detain persons for immigration enforcement purposes.
- Interdiction for police departments to transfer an individual to federal immigration officials in order of immigration enforcement
- It is against the law that officers cannot be placed under the supervision or deputized as special federal officials or officers.
2 methods that fail: implicit bias trainings, body cameras
Intuit bias trainings are one of the most well-known reforms police and sheriff’s department have introduced in recent years. Training officers to recognize their subconscious biases regarding race, class, gender and gender will reduce conflict with marginalized communities.
Experts are skeptical about whether this training is effective. There aren’t any consistent standards or assessments, so it’s hard to know how effective they are. The Atlantic reported.
Instead, advocates for policing reform have called for de-escalation training to be prioritized over implicit bias training. Campaign Zero shows that police recruits spend an average of 58 hours learning to shoot but only eight hours learning to de-escalate potentially dangerous situations.
Another method for excessive force cases is the body camera. However, it has not been proven to be effective.
Despite the fact that many police departments have adopted body cameras to protect their officers, they have not been able to prove whether or not they reduce excessive force incidents.
A review of 70 empirical studies on body camera usage showed that eight studies did not show a significant decline in the use-of-force incidents resulting from police wearing body cams. Six studies however found that officers were more likely to use force.
The footage is also more often used against citizens than police officers. Research shows that 93% of prosecutors have used body camera footage in cases against citizens and not against police officers.
Although it is unlikely that police departments will stop using body cameras in the near future, Campaign Zero has called for stricter policies from police departments to ensure cameras are not used to monitor marginalized communities.
Mistakes can happen in health care. Hospitals and physicians have malpractice insurance. The city usually pays the bill if there is a mistake in law enforcement. The city and its taxpayers would pay the premium for the police department’s medical malpractice insurance. However, if the city’s premium rises, the city will be able to identify which officers, such as which doctors, are responsible. This allows cities and departments to take a market-driven approach in weeding out the bad apples that continue to damage law enforcement agencies.