Archive for the ‘Use of Force’ Category

Re-engineering the traffic stop

August 12, 2017

This column recounts efforts to improve after-action review of officer-involved shootings, based on methods used in aviation and medicine, with less emphasis on finding a person to blame and more on identifying system errors that can be fixed in order to prevent future tragedies. The writer notes that many shootings arise from traffic stops, and wonders whether changes to basic police SOPs could make vehicle stops safer for both officers and the public.

Progress in New Orleans

August 8, 2017

New Orleans signed a U.S. Department of Justice consent decree in 2013, requiring reforms overseen by a federal judge. Monitoring was extended for 3 years this week with an expectation that it will cease in 2020 if full compliance is achieved in 2018 and then sustained, according to this article. The order cites “significant improvement in almost every area of the consent decree, including policies, training, supervision, custodial interrogations, sexual assault and domestic violence investigations, uses of force, use of force reporting and use of force investigations.”

Police leaders reject President’s remarks

July 30, 2017

Several police leaders have repudiated President Trump’s recent speech before a Long Island, NY police audience. In his statement, Chief Thomas Manger of the Major City-County Chiefs Association says “those remarks just confirmed to those who don’t like or trust the police that we give a wink and a nod to excessive force. We don’t. And anyone that does should not be wearing a badge.” He adds “As a cop for the past 40 years, I was appalled when I heard the President of the United States condone injuring an individual in police custody. This violates our Constitution, our Department policy, and the public trust.”

Community-level bias linked to officer-involved shootings

July 28, 2017

This article reports a study that looked at the link between the public’s attitudes and police-involved shootings across regions of the U.S. and found “implicit racial bias among whites was the only factor associated with police disproportionately killing African Americans — demographic factors like income, segregation, or education levels didn’t play a role.” The author adds “I’m not saying that the police don’t have these biases themselves [but] it’s not just the police.”

External review progress in Chicago

July 12, 2017

Chicago’s new Civilian Office of Police Accountability (COPA) will replace the former Independent Police Review Authority (IPRA) on September 15. The new agency is guaranteed funding of 1% of the police budget and will have 140 full-time employees, including 90 investigators. This article reports that COPA will also contract with technical experts in areas such as use of force, ballistics, and accident reconstruction to further its independence from the city’s police department.

Expert views on Castile shooting video

June 23, 2017

Following the officer’s acquittal last week, dashcam video of the vehicle stop and subsequent shooting of Philando Castile in Minnesota was released. In this article, several experts comment on the video evidence. Another view is here.

Police leadership resources added

June 14, 2017

BJA’s “Executive Session on Police Leadership” website has added two new resources. The “Something to Say” page offers a range of audio, video, and text viewpoints. An essay by Darrel Stephens discusses how to create police-community relationships that can survive a controversial police shooting incident.

More focus on learning from past events

May 12, 2017

This article reports another step in Wisconsin’s effort to create a system to analyze and review police-involved critical incidents that emphasizes learning and preventing more than blaming. The approach is modeled after protocols used in the aviation and medical fields, where they have discovered that accidents and mistakes are rarely just a matter of pilot or doctor error.

“It’s a false dichotomy”

May 1, 2017

This article provides a nice profile of Brandon del Pozo, the police chief in Burlington, Vermont. He disputes the notion “that you either have to choose the narrative of excessive urban crime or choose the narrative of brutal police, and that you’re either on the black lives matter side or the blue lives matter side … It’s a false dichotomy.”

Walking the tightrope in Nashville

April 28, 2017

This article covers events in Nashville over the last 4 months with an extensive interview of Chief Steve Anderson. The city has had an officer killed, an officer-involved fatal shooting, and a critical report on racial profiling. The chief discusses the nearly impossible challenge of meeting the needs and expectations of officers, the community, and political leaders.