Policing and Police Misconduct: News and Publications
"In professions where adults are in regular contact with children–such as health care, education, and day care—the state is heavily involved in setting and enforcing clear standards. Law enforcement officers are the gatekeepers for the justice system. They determine who is arrested, who is not, and who enters into the juvenile justice system and these decisions can dramatically and permanently alter a youth’s educational and professional opportunities. Given the magnitude and long-term impact of encounters between youth and law enforcement, there is no reason why law enforcement agencies and officers are not subject to the same levels of accountability, training and guidance."
Shuay'b Greenaway, then 32, was painting his Hempstead residence's bathroom in 2010 when local officers came to his door following 911 calls from his family asking for help in convincing Greenaway to seek psychological help for his bipolar disorder. No violence or menacing behavior was alleged in the calls.
In May 2017, the family of a Huntley, Montana man killed by two Yellowstone County Sheriff's deputies agreed to a settlement of $1.25 million. The victim, Loren Simpson, was 28 in 2015 when former deputies Jason Robinson and Christopher Rudolph responded to a reported burglary. The deputies fired at least 24 shots at Simpson, although, according to a U.S. District Court judge, there was no proof Simpson had committed any crime.
In April 2017, a Harris County, Texas jury awarded the parents of Jamail Amron $11 million in damages following a three-week trial in the wrongful death of their 23-year-old son.
In February 2017, the city of Hartford, Connecticut agreed to pay the family of Glen Harris $885,000 in settlement for the 2006 city police shooting of their 3-year-old Saint Bernard dog. Hartford Sergeants Anthony Pia and Johnmichael O'Hare entered Harris's property without a warrant in search of illegal weapons. Despite finding no contraband, as they walked away from the property they shot and killed the dog in full view of Harris's 12-year-old daughter.
In February, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals decided in favor of Phillip Turner in Turner v. Driver. Turner was handcuffed and placed in a patrol car after refusing to identify himself when approached by police officers. The officers had approached him because he was video recording a Fort Worth police station from a public sidewalk.
"Today, our country is engaged in a critically important conversation about community-police relations. This report describes one of the United States Department of Justice’s central tools for accomplishing police reform, restoring police-community trust, and strengthening officer and public safety – the Civil Rights Division’s enforcement of the civil prohibition on a “pattern or practice” of policing that violates the Constitution or other federal laws (the Department’s other tools are described later in this document). Pattern-or-practice cases begin with investigations of allegations of systemic police misconduct and, when the allegations are substantiated, end with comprehensive agreements designed to support constitutional and effective policing and restore trust between police and communities. The Division has opened 11 new pattern-or-practice investigations and negotiated 19 new reform agreements since 2012 alone, often with the substantial assistance of the local United States Attorney’s Offices.
The purpose of this report to make the Division’s police reform work more accessible and transparent. The usual course of a pattern-or-practice case, with examples and explanations for why the Division approaches this work the way it does, is set forth in this report."
"The pattern of unlawful force we found resulted from a collection of poor police practices that our investigation indicated are used routinely within [the Chicago Police Department]. We found that officers engage in tactically unsound and unnecessary foot pursuits, and that these foot pursuits too often end with officers unreasonably shooting someone—including unarmed individuals. We found that officers shoot at vehicles without justification and in contradiction to CPD policy. We found further that officers exhibit poor discipline when discharging their weapons and engage in tactics that endanger themselves and public safety, including failing to await backup when they safely could and should; using unsound tactics in approaching vehicles; and using their own vehicles in a manner that is dangerous. These are issues that can and must be better addressed through training, accountability and ultimately cultural change."
On May 5th, 2015, Brandon Glenn, 29, was standing on the sidewalk in California's Venice Beach when Los Angeles Police Department officers notified him he was under arrest with no apparent justification. While other officers proceeded to restrain Glenn, and without giving any warning or commands beforehand, Officer Clifford Proctor then shot Glenn twice in the back, killing him.