Racial Profiling: News and Publications

$885K Settlement in Hartford, CT Police Shooting of Family Dog

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.

Investigation of the Chicago Police Department

United States Department of Justice Civil Rights Division
United States Department of Justice Civil Rights Division

"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."

Also see: http://chicagoreporter.com/justice-department-report-on-chicago-police-a...

Handschu v. Police Department of the City of New York, et al. [Decision]

“A federal judge has rejected the settlement of a lawsuit stemming from the New York Police Department's surveillance of Muslims, saying the proposed deal does not provide enough oversight of an agency that he said had shown a “systemic inclination” to ignore rules protecting free speech and religion.” New York Times, Tuesday November 1, 2016, pg A1 (http://nyti.ms/2dVYoqI)

Also see NY Law Journal, Wednesday November 2, pg. 1:

Associated Press investigative series: www.ap.org/nypd

Collaborative Reform Initiative: An Assessment of the San Francisco Police Department

U.S. Department of Justice
Community Oriented Policing Services

On Wednesday, October 12th 2016, the Department of Justice's Office of Community Oriented Policing Services released a new report detailing "numerous indicators of implicit and institutionalized bias against minority groups" among other issues pertaining to the conduct of the San Francisco Police Department. The review, which is not a court-enforceable agreement, was requested by the Mayor and a former SFPD Chief and makes 272 recommendations.

According to the Director's introduction to the report, the Department of Justice found "concerning deficiencies in every operational area assessed: use of force; bias; community policing practices; accountability measures; and recruitment, hiring, and promotion practices. We also found serious deficiencies concerning the San Francisco Police Department’s (SFPD) data systems regarding the ability to collect, maintain, and analyze data."

Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court: Flight from Police "Not Necessarily Probative of Consciousness of Guilt"

Jimmy Warren was arrested on December 18th, 2011 by Massachusetts police investigating a Roxbury break-in. When an officer later saw Warren and another man walking in an area park, they fled. Warren was arrested and charged with unlawful possession of a firearm found in a yard near his arrest.

Investigation of the Baltimore City Police Department (USDOJ Civil Rights Division)

U.S. Department of Justice
Civil Rights Division

The United States Department of Justice Civil Rights Division issues its August 10, 2016 report on the Baltimore Police Department's "pattern or practice of conduct that violates the United States Constitution and laws and conduct that raises serious concerns." The report condemns the BPD's unconstitutional stops, searches, arrests, its regular use of unreasonable force and overly aggressive tactics, and its pattern of racial, ablist, and gendered discrimination, among other areas in which the BPD fails to serve its community.

"They Have All the Power": Youth/Police Encounters on Chicago's South Side

Craig Futterman, Chaclyn Hunt and Jamie Kalven
University of Chicago Law School

Public conversations about urban police practices tend to exclude the perspectives and experiences of the young Black people, the citizens often most affected by those practices. The aim of the Youth/Police Project -- a collaboration of the Mandel Legal Aid Clinic of the University of Chicago Law School and the Invisible Institute -- is to access that critical knowledge and ensure that it is represented in the public discourse. This paper describes what we have learned from our ongoing project. In contrast to the attention commanded by high profile incidents of police abuse, we focus on the routine encounters between police and Black youth that take place countless times every day in cities across the nation -- interactions that shape how kids see police and how police see them. address these issues. Central to our recommendations is acknowledging the realities of young people living in marginalized communities. Drawing on our work with youth, we propose a set of policies that, taken together, have the potential to yield more equitable and constructive relationships between Black communities and police.

NYC Agrees to Settle “Central Park 5” Suit for $40 Million

Five men, who were exonerated in 2002 after being convicted and imprisoned for a highly sensationalized crime, agreed to a settlement of $40 million from New York City to resolve a long-fought civil rights lawsuit.

The lawsuit had accused the city’s police and prosecutors of false arrest, malicious prosecution and a racially motivated conspiracy to deprive the men of their civil rights, allegations which former long-term NYC Mayor Bloomberg denied and fought vigorously for more than a decade in federal court.