Policing in America

Policing in America Introductory Notes: Investigating the Legitimacy of Police Power and Accountability

April 29th, 2017

Policing in America Introductory Notes: Investigating the Legitimacy of Police Power and Accountability

By Frank Kearl In March of 2015 the U.S. Department of Justice released its report on the Ferguson Police Department.  In the aftermath of the shooting of Michael Brown, the DOJ spent six months interviewing the city’s police force, reviewing tens of thousands of pages of police records and emails, participating in ride-alongs, and working with statistical experts to analyze data on stops, searches, citations, and arrests.[1]  Their report concluded that the Ferguson Police Department aggressively enforced the city’s municipal code with “insufficient thought given to whether enforcement strategies promote[d] public safety or unnecessarily undermine[d] community trust and cooperation.”[2]