Thursday, March 17, 2011

DOJ releases report on New Orleans Police Department abuses

Sure enough, it looks like the report (158 pages) is pretty devastating and covers a wide range of abuses. Here's the Times-Picayune story, or a shorter write up from ProPublica.

I just glanced through the section on use-of-force policy. Start with this:
We found that many officers, supervisors, and commanders have a poor understanding of use of force policies.
They found the use of force policy is lousy anyway (a new one is currently being developed).

And then there's this:
NOPD's statistics-driven approach to policing appears to contribute to the strong community perception of bias in stops, arrests, and other encounters. Individuals we spoke with, particularly youth, African Americans, ethnic minorities, and members of the LGBT community, told of frequent stops and of being targeted, booked, and arrested for minor infractions. They consistently described how these tactics serve to drive a wedge between the police and the public, antagonizing and alienating members of the community.
Of course, I don't mean to sound like this stuff is unique to NOPD. Because it's not. But the NOPD has particularly serious problems, and that's why the DOJ is involved here. I hope progress could one day be on the way.


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