Police Use of Force: An Examination of Modern Policing Practices



Taken from link at:

Click to access 11-15-Police-Force.pdf

Here is a local copy:

Highlighted Findings:
Police officers have the difficult and admirable job of providing crucial services to the
communities they protect and serve. Their job sometimes puts them in harm’s way and may require
the use of force. Accordingly, police officers must operate with the highest standards of
professionalism and accountability.

Every community resident should be
able to live, work, and travel confident in an expectation that
interactions with police officers will be fair, operate consistent with constitutional norms,
and be guided by public safety free from bias or discrimination. Unfortunately, today, too many
communities are not confident in that expectation and do not trust fair police-community

Communities have demanded reforms to foster better community-police relations and
to prevent unjustified and excessive police uses of force.
Accurate and comprehensive data regarding police uses of force is
generally not available to police
departments or the American public.

No comprehensive national database exists that captures rates
of police use of force.
The best available evidence reflects high rates of use of force
nationally, and increased likelihood
of police use of force against people of color, people with disabilities,
LGBT people, people with mental health concerns, people with low incomes,
and those at the intersections of these groups.

Lack of training and lack of funding for training
leave officers and the public at risk.

training areas include tactical
training, de-escalation techniques, understanding cultural
differences and anti-bias mechanisms, as well as strategies for encounters
with individuals with
physical and mental disabilities.
Repeated and highly publicized incidents of police use of force agai
nst persons of color and people
with disabilities, combined with
a lack of accurate data, lack of
transparency about policies and
practices in place governing use of force,

and lack of accountability for noncompliance foster a
perception that police use of force in communities of color and the disability community is
unchecked, unlawful, and unsafe.
Highlighted Recommendations:
The Department of Justice should return to vigorous enforcement of constitutional policing,
including pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 14141 and use of consent decrees as necessary where
constitutional policing standards are not being upheld.
The Department of Justice should robustly support local efforts to
develop and institute
constitutional policing practices. Such support should include reinstating
the Office of Community
Oriented Policing Services (COPS) and maintaining the Community Relations Services office
(CRS) to focus on building community trust and reducing excessive
uses of force in coordination
with police departments. DOJ support also should
include grant support as well as generation of
federal guidance supporting development of effective
training, policies, and
internal accountability
measures that promote expanded strategies and tactics that safeguard the lives of officers and
Congress should fund grants that support effective external police oversight through, for example,
independent monitors or police commissions or community oversight. Congress should also fund
grants for research regarding best practices for such oversight, to develop
replicable models that
communities could follow to ensure constitutionally sound policing in
their jurisdictions.

Congress should fund grants, facilitated by the Department of Justice, to
incentivize evidence-based best practices that, when employed, reduce
incidents of excessive force. The following
practices deserve serious consideration as policy makers pursue mechanisms to keep communities

Officers should be trained on de-escalation tactics and alternatives to use of force. Tactical
training should include strategies to create time, space, and distance, to reduce the
likelihood that force will be necessary and should occur in realistic conditions appropriate
to the department’s location.

Courts and legislatures should require judges
to preside over grand jury proceedings and
open the records of these proceedings in police use of force cases to the public, in cases
where the identity of the subject of the investigation is already public.

Investigation and prosecution of use of for
ce cases should be made as independent and
public as possible. The agencies investigating and determining whether to move forward
with prosecution should not have an
ongoing relationship with the department.

Departments should provide aggregate information to the public regarding the numbers of
allegations and type of use of force and what
steps, if any, departments take to address use
of force concerns when they arise. These data should be disaggregated by race, gender and
disability status.



BoingBoing reports:

For framing innocent black men, a police chief in Florida will go to prison for three years. Impunity is the norm in America for cases like this, so the conviction is a big deal.

Raimundo Atesiano, the former police chief of Biscayne Park, Florida, stands convicted of directing his officers to frame innocent men in a series of unsolved burglaries. He now admits he was trying to please white community leaders, and manipulate property crimes statistics in the town of 3,000 residents.

From the Miami Herald:

“When I took the job, I was not prepared,” Atesiano told a federal judge on Tuesday. “I made some very, very bad decisions.”

His apologies did not sway U.S. District Judge K. Michael Moore, who on Tuesday sentenced the 53-year-old former cop to three years in prison. He allowed Atesiano to remain free for two weeks before surrendering so he can care for his mother, who is dying of leukemia.

In September, Atesiano pleaded guilty to a conspiracy charge of depriving the three suspects of their civil rights because he and the officers charged them without a legal basis. Atesiano’s conspiracy conviction carried up to 10 years in prison.

What about the three men who were falsely arrested in the criminal cops’ conspiracy? Not much detail there, but hopefully they’ll receive some form of restitution.


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