Mitigate Police Brutality

1224 Words 5 Pages
Civilian Oversight to Mitigate Police Brutality
Recently, police brutality has become a highly debated topic in the media as videos capturing abuse has sparked concerns across the nation. Additionally, some police officers have been identified as having patterns of abusive behavior but are still employed in the law enforcement profession. Police officer’s being allowed to remain in the law enforcement profession despite having a poor track record in community relations has caused concern among some communities on a police department 's ability to regulate its personnel to curb instances of perceived abuse. Some cities and towns have created civilian review boards to allow the public to have greater oversight of police operations.
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Discipline appears to be the underlining problem with maintaining police accountability as discipline shows the public what the outcome will be for a police officer who steps outside the law. When the public is not given an adequate solution for police abuse, questions are raised and allegations that double standards for law enforcement officers. However, disciplinary matters in big cities are often governed by collective bargaining agreements between the cities and police unions where arbitrators are the ultimate deciding factor for disciplinary proceedings.
Some police departments allow for civilian oversight committees have a say in disciplinary matters (Finn, 2001, p.68). However, this is not the standard nationwide as previously stated. Even more concerning is the fact that the news media has highlighted that some officers are repeat offenders in violating people 's rights and have received little or no discipline. Bad employees exist within any profession. However, when then the employee has arrest powers it makes this employee dangerous when they are abusing their
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In 2016, Maryland State Supreme Court ruled against the Baltimore police union in a civil suit filed to prevent the Baltimore civilian review board from having access to police personnel files. Under Maryland, personnel files are not subject to open records laws and are sealed from anyone other than the police department to view. Despite the civilian review board having the authority to look at the records, the police union sued to restrict access. Situations like these demonstrate why efforts to increase civilian oversight has been hard to hold police officers accountable across the nation. A lot of departments keep police misconduct a secret along with internal disciplinary

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