Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Recent killings by police increase calls for independent probes

with one comment

I think people are starting to notice (a) that police often kill unarmed citizens, and (b) when police investigate such shootings, the finding is always that the shooting was justified. (This is right in line with other examples of organizations investigating themselves: somehow the organization is seldom found to be in the wrong.)

Tony Pugh writes for McClatchy:

When New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman recently sought authority to investigate and prosecute cases that involve police killings of unarmed civilians, it was a watershed moment for Vincent Warren.

The executive director of the Center for Constitutional Rights, a nonprofit legal group that grew out of the civil rights movement, Warren has long called for independent investigations when there are questions about the use of lethal force by police.

Local prosecutors are ill-suited for the investigations, Warren said, because their cozy working relationships with local police pose a dangerous conflict of interest. [In fairness, police as a group have extremely effective means of retaliation against any prosecutor who finds police officers in the wrong. Coziness does exist, but there is also the obvious threat of overt retaliation to keep prosecutors meek. – LG] But as he and other activists in the police accountability movement had called for change, their proposals were ignored as a solution in need of a problem.

With little support from politicians, prosecutors and the police themselves, Warren and others were largely dismissed as criminal-justice critics too eager to assume foul play when disputed police encounters weren’t adjudicated to their liking.

That perception changed with Eric Garner’s death in July after an aggressive chokehold and bodily restraint by New York City police officers.

When a Staten Island grand jury failed to indict the officers, despite troubling video footage of the incident, an eruption of nationwide protests and an erosion of public trust pushed Schneiderman to seek what Warren had called for all along.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is weighing Schneiderman’s call for independent police probes. Warren is keeping his fingers crossed.

“I’m gratified that Attorney General Schneiderman has proposed a sensible solution to this long-standing problem,” Warren said recently. “Amidst all the hand-wringing and soul-searching on this issue, this is very much a step in the right direction.”

Warren said jurisdictions nationwide should consider similar measures, such as appointing special prosecutors, as questionable police shootings of black men created uncertainty about local prosecutors’ ability and willingness to police the police. . .

Continue reading.

Written by Leisureguy

17 March 2015 at 10:01 am

One Response

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  1. Reblogged this on Brian By Experience.

    Brian Dead Rift Webb

    17 March 2015 at 11:25 am


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