In Cities Where Chokehold Bans Already Exist They’re Largely Ineffective
As federal, state and local officials across the country grapple with the best way to curb police violence, many are looking at chokehold bans as an obvious answer. But there are places where such bans are in place, and they don't appear to work.
Bans On Police Use Of Chokeholds And Other Neck Restraints Difficult To Enforce
In the wake of George Floyd's death, a flashpoint in the debates over police reform has been the push to ban chokeholds nationwide. Advocates for the idea believe that enshrining a ban into law will deter police violence. And it's gaining traction: Congressional Democrats have proposed a legislative package that calls for a ban on all neck restraints. President Trump, though he stopped short of full support of a ban, said late last week that police should avoid using chokeholds. And the state of New York passed a law banning the tactic. (Evstatieva and Mak, 6/16)
The Wall Street Journal:
Obama-Era Policing Proposals Find Some Success, But Ambitious Ideas Are Slow-Moving
After the 2014 police shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., President Obama created a task force that offered 59 recommendations for better policing and building public trust. Eric Jones, the chief of police in Stockton, Calif., has implemented just about all of them. Chief Jones required officers to undergo implicit-bias training and learn about past police abuses. He’s adopted antidiscrimination procedures that promote fair enforcement. (Kendall, 6/15)
The Associated Press:
Could The Police Shooting In Atlanta Have Been Prevented?
It started off as routine: a man asleep in his car in a fast-food drive-thru. But it rapidly spun out of control when Atlanta police tried to handcuff and arrest Rayshard Brooks for being intoxicated. Video of the scene from late Friday shows the 27-year-old black man wrestling with two white officers, taking a Taser from one of them, running a short distance through the Wendy’s parking lot, and then pointing the stun gun toward one. That officer shot him twice in the back, killing him. (Pane, 6/16)
Supreme Court Rejects Cases Over 'Qualified Immunity' For Police
The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday declined to hear eight cases involving a legal defense called qualified immunity that can be used to shield government officials from lawsuits, including seven involving police accused of excessive force or other misconduct. (Hurley and Chung, 6/15)
New York City Police Disband Rough Street Unit Amid Pressure For Reform
The New York Police Department is disbanding its aggressive anti-crime unit, a move aimed at turning alienated residents into crime-stopping allies, part of a nationwide push for policing reforms following the killing of George Floyd. In a major redeployment, the country’s largest police force will reassign some 600 plainclothes officers in the anti-crime unit, the target of numerous complaints, to other duties, effective immediately, Commissioner Dermot Shea said on Monday. (Szekely, 6/15)
Atlanta Journal Constitution:
Ex-Cop Garrett Rolfe Had Previously Been Reprimanded For Use Of Force
Atlanta police on Monday released the disciplinary histories for both officers involved in the shooting death of Rayshard Brooks, revealing that one of them had previously been reprimanded for use of force involving a firearm. Garrett Rolfe, the 27-year-old officer who was fired after shooting and killing Brooks on Friday night in a Wendy’s parking lot, received a written reprimand in 2017 due to the complaint. In his seven-year stint with the department, it was his only use-of-force complaint before Friday’s shooting. (Hansen, 6/15)
The Wall Street Journal:
Protesters March To Georgia Capitol After Killing Of Rayshard Brooks
Protesters marched to the Georgia State Capitol in Atlanta on Monday to denounce the killing of Rayshard Brooks, a 27-year-old black man who was fatally shot by police, and demand an end to police brutality. During a news conference Monday, Mr. Brooks’s family called for the officer who shot him to be arrested and charged in his death. Members of his family grew emotional, as they called for justice and an end to the use of excessive force by police. (Siddiqui and Calvert, 6/15)
Details About Mayor’s Public Safety Proposal Remain Scarce
After the mayor’s announcement that he would like to create a department of “trained, unarmed professionals” that would respond 24/7 to 911 calls involving behavioral health, homelessness, addiction and other social issues, city councilors, advocates and the union wanted a lot more information. Mayor Tim Keller, Chief Administrative Officer Sarita Nair and City Councilor Lan Sena were joined by several other city officials as they spoke about the proposal at a news conference Monday but said they are still in the beginning of the planning process. Keller and Nair had already spoken to the Journal and other news outlets, including The Washington Post, about the plan over the weekend. (Kaplan and Dyer, 6/15)
The Wall Street Journal:
For Black Police, Discrimination Abounds, Complicating Reform Efforts
Detective Luther Hall was working undercover during protests that gripped St. Louis in 2017 following the police shooting of a black man, when several officers in riot gear rushed up to him. Before Mr. Hall, who is black, could comply with their demands to get on the ground, he was body slammed by an officer, according to court filings. The 22-year veteran said the white officers punched, kicked and struck him with batons before a SWAT team member recognized him and hustled him away. Mr. Hall later told investigators that his fellow officers “beat the [expletive] out of him like Rodney King,” according to a Federal Bureau of Investigation affidavit. (Frosch and Chapman, 6/16)
In Wake Of Rayshard Brooks' Killing, Atlanta Mayor Orders Police Department Reforms
The move comes as local governments across the nation are reexamining police department budgets, and implementing various reforms. In Atlanta, Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance's orders will require the police department to report all uses of deadly force to a citizens review board. Atlanta police officers will also be "duty bound" to intervene and prevent another officer from using force "which is beyond reasonable," Bottoms said, and then to immediately report the use of force to a supervisor. (Hagemann, 6/15)
U.N. Human Rights Council To Hold Urgent Debate On Police Brutality, Racism
The United Nations Human Rights Council has decided to hold a urgent debate on racism and police brutality in the wake of the police killing of George Floyd. The proposal, made by a group of African countries led by Burkina Faso, was approved on Monday by the U.N.'s top human rights body. The debate on "the current racially inspired human rights violations, systemic racism, police brutality and the violence against peaceful protests" is scheduled for Wednesday. (Horn, 6/15)
What Would A Police-Free Oakland Look Like?
With protests across the country calling for cities to defund local police departments, police abolition has entered the mainstream lexicon, along with calls to channel police funding into social services that promote healthier communities. In Oakland, a city that’s seen school closures and a rapid rise in homelessness in recent years, the police budget takes up around 44% of the total city budget. And yet, OPD has been under federal oversight for nearly two decades and has failed to meet standards for reform. (Voynovskaya, 6/15)
Dallas Morning News:
Can Dallas County Turn Messages From Protests Into Lasting Change In Battle Against Racism?
Against a backdrop of unending national protests and in front of an audience of skeptical activists, Dallas County commissioners are taking their first steps toward ending systemic racism. County commissioners on Tuesday are expected to vote on two resolutions: one proclaiming racism a public health emergency and another that would encourage law enforcement agencies to write tickets rather than arrest people for low-level offenses. (Garcia, 6/15)
Los Angeles Times:
Black Lives Matter Leaders Meet With L.A. Politicians, Saying ‘Defund The Police’
In an extraordinary face-to-face meeting, a coalition of activists led by Black Lives Matter-Los Angeles urged members of the City Council on Monday to end the city’s reliance on police officers and embrace new strategies for keeping neighborhoods safe.Seated in the council chamber at City Hall, activists told council members they have an opening to move money away from the L.A. Police Department and into mental health counselors, gang intervention workers and other public employees who can address trauma and prevent violence from breaking out.“The world is speaking right now,” said Melina Abdullah, co-founder of Black Lives Matter-L.A., her voice choked with emotion. (Zahniser and Smith, 6/15)
This City Already Rebuilt Its Police Department. Did It Work?
Protesters across the country are continuing to fill the streets, looking to turn their outrage over police violence against black people into action. Many point to the city of Camden, New Jersey, as an example of what reforming a police department can look like. But is it a success story? PBS NewsHour Weekend’s Hari Sreenivasan talks to Scott Thomson, the city’s former police chief, and Keith Eric Benson, a resident and educator who says the reality is different than it seems. (6/15)
San Francisco Chronicle:
California AG Xavier Becerra Calls For Legislation To Decertify Police Officers For Serious Misconduct
California Attorney General Xavier Becerra on Monday called for legislation that would help decertify police officers for serious misconduct — a type of accountability platform that has been long missing in a state that prides itself on criminal justice reforms. The decertification tool was one of a host of police reform recommendations Becerra announced during a virtual news conference, along with de-escalation and use-of-force policies that would cover all law enforcement agencies in California. (Cassidy, 6/15)
Data Show Boston Police Stop Black People Most Often
Boston police overwhelmingly singled out Black people for street investigations in 2019, department records show, a disparity that has persisted even as the number of reported stops, searches, and observations has decreased over the last decade. Released for the first time in three years, the data quickly became part of the city’s urgent discussion of the role that race and racism play in policing, underscoring calls to reform and defund police departments that protesters have made during massive marches throughout Boston in recent weeks. (Lotan, 6/15)
Boston Has Regularly Touted The Effectiveness Of ‘Community Policing.’ Does It Work?
For years, city leaders and police commissioners have described it as the guiding principle of Boston’s approach to law enforcement — a seemingly simple two-word catch phrase that describes a progressive new approach: community policing. As he announced an independent review of the Boston Police Department’s use-of-force guidelines last week, Mayor Martin J. Walsh once again touted the city’s community policing model, rattling off programs with names like “Coffee with a Cop” and “Shop with a Cop.” (Arnett and Valencia, 6/15)