Improving policing in two basic concepts

The DOJ just released a report on policing in Chicago.  It’s not good:

The Justice Department released a scathing 161-page report elaborating on how police officers in the country’s third-biggest city use force, “including deadly force, that is unreasonable” as well as unconstitutional.

This report is the culmination of a 13-month investigation into the Chicago Police Department, one launched amid a firestorm prompted by video footage of a white officer fatally shooting a black teenager.

Federal investigators excoriated the department and city officials alike for what they called “systemic deficiencies.” They said their inquiry found that the Chicago police force did not provide officers with proper guidance for using force, did not properly investigate improper uses of force and did not hold officers accountable for such incidents. Investigators also faulted the city’s methods of handling officer discipline, saying that process “lacks integrity.”

Vanita Gupta, head of the department’s Civil Rights Division, said that Chicago officers were found to have shot people who posed no immediate threat and shocked people with Tasers simply for not following verbal commands…

Gupta faulted the department for inadequate training, saying it used decades-old videos that provided guidance inconsistent with current law and even the department’s own policies. She also described Chicago’s accountability system as “broken,” with officers rarely being held accountable for their misdeeds. [emphases mine]

There you go.  Want better policing?  We need to train our officers better and we need to hold them accountable?  Alright, not exactly simple to implement, but what we actually need to do is pretty clear.

About Steve Greene
Professor of Political Science at NC State

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