Fantastic Resource on Police Use of Force

Following up on my earlier post (and taking this opportunity to clarify that I was being sarcastic when I described the Manhattan Institute’s report as “groundbreaking” or good news–since, as I hope was clear, I expect police to kill fewer people than violent criminals do), I have found (via this excellent resource on police use of force.  The Police Use of Force Project reviews policy policies from the largest city police departments in the United States “to determine whether they include meaningful protections against police violence.”  The policies were obtained via FOIA requests, the data is/are published on the site, and they even have a model use of force policy.

Author: W. David Ball

W. David Ball is an Associate Professor at Santa Clara School of Law. He writes and teaches primarily in the fields of criminal law and criminal procedure, with a special focus on sentencing and corrections. He also serves as the Co-Chair of the Corrections Committee of the American Bar Association.

5 thoughts on “Fantastic Resource on Police Use of Force”

  1. Thank you for the nifty Campaign Zero link. The dawn breaks. Coherence emerges. I feel so much better now. (Not that I thought it was perfect, but it's pretty good. Why do I need to know an accused policeman's name? What is the Police Commission there for then? Also, might not this be a good platform from which to present some rules for *the public* as to how to behave? As in, I think there should at least be a *fine* if you make the police chase you. What is the point of that? They are human, they are going to be mad.)(But again, mostly it looked good. Double ditto on high speed chases.)

  2. We already have rules for the public on how to behave. They're called laws. If you break one, you should be apprehended with the least amount of force required, charged, and tried by a jury of your peers. If your only "crime" is to crack wise to a cop, the cop shouldn't be allowed to escalate the amount of force no matter what color you are. If he/she does, he/she is also breaking the law and should be apprehended, charged, and tried.

    1. I am not meaning to "blame the victim," but I think there are significant areas of gray out in Realityland. It is *not* the policeman's job to determine if someone has committed a crime. They are there to apprehend *suspects* and to keep the peace. (The jury decides what the what is.) Gray area all over the place. Just knowing the law isn't enough — if humans were made that way, Miss Manners would have been enough.

      Plus, how many young men are getting killed because they have nowhere to put their phones… except their waistband? Serious question. I think it's a non-zero number, and I think we'd all like it to be zero. Won't happen if we don't talk about it. And the phones keep getting bigger too… what's up with that? They don't even fit in the pockets maybe.

      All I'm really saying is this… if we want to prevent violence… all violence, all kinds … we have a long way to go and a lot of things to talk about. That website is a great start I think.

  3. I live in Indianapolis. This is, I'm distressed to find, reinforces the sense that the police department here is not terribly concerned about this issue.

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