Improving Police Transparency and Accountability in Violent Encounters with African Americans
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Introduction: Law Enforcement’s Transparency and Accountability Problems in African American Communities
The concern for transparent reviews of excessive force by police has moved in and out of the national spotlight for several decades. Shortly after the release of the startling videotape of the Rodney King beating in 1991, several police chiefs across the country as well as the NYPD Commissioner called for a national database to document excessive use of force (Skolnick and Fyfe 1993). Police critics at this time finally had the fuel they needed to launch a police reform movement based on irrefutable evidence of systemic violence by the LAPD against African Americans. Even with today’s video-graphic technology such as smartphones, body cams, dash cams, and social media, communities of color continue to express concerns about progress in imposing measures of accountability.
The Department of Justice (DOJ) under the Obama Administration announced a rigorous effort starting in 2017 to...
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