Racial profiling, killings of arrestees by local police increase: study

Apr 17, 2012

Deadly police shootings, racial profiling and discriminatory law enforcement are once again in the forefront of national debate. Police killings of unarmed civilians in New Orleans and Seattle have generated local protests and national controversies. Accusations of racial profiling have been lodged against police departments in those and other cities as well as the Maricopa County sheriff's office in Arizona. In addition, the recent shooting of teenager Trayvon Martin by a neighborhood watch coordinator has forced a close examination of authorities' initial investigation of the killing. But what are the real facts about these issues and what is the federal government doing to curb local police misconduct? These important questions are discussed in the April 6, 2012, issue of CQ Researcher, published by CQ Press, an imprint of SAGE.

According to author Kenneth Jost, the federal government's accountability unit has been reinvigorated after a period of dormancy under President George W. Bush. From 2003 to 2009, killings of arrestees by police rose from 376 in 2003 to 497 in 2009. Over the past year, the U.S. Department of Justice has been aggressively using its power to monitor local and pressuring them to limit the use of excessive force in civilian encounters, eliminate racial profiling and strengthen disciplinary and accountability procedures.

"The Justice Department's oversight of local law enforcement lagged under President Bush," writes Jost. "Obama's selection of civil rights-minded officials for key posts at the Justice Department signaled a likely change in priorities."

The April 6 issue of CQ Researcher discusses the Justice department's new policies in an attempt to answer some important questions:

  • Should police do more to control excessive force?
  • Should police do more to prevent racial and ethnic profiling?
  • Should police adopt stronger disciplinary measures for misconduct?
With careful attention to detail and interviews with a range of experts, the issue also provides a timeline and discussion of the history of police misconduct, a bibliography of major sources on the topic, and the outlook for possible reforms in police department practices and policies.

Explore further: Newlyweds, be careful what you wish for

More information: To read more about the April 6 issue of CQ Researcher, titled "Police Misconduct: Will Excessive Force, Racial Profiling be Curbed?" visit library.cqpress.com/cqresearcher/

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

3Qs: Debating the impact of 'stand your ground' laws

Mar 30, 2012

The death of Trayvon Martin, an unarmed, black teenager shot by self-appointed community watch captain George Zimmerman in Florida, has sparked a turbulent nationwide dialogue on race and so-called “stand ...

Hackers dog LA police canine association

Feb 23, 2012

Members of hacker group Anonymous took credit Thursday for an online raid of the Los Angeles Police Canine Association and the posting of personal and potentially embarrassing information.

Recommended for you

Newlyweds, be careful what you wish for

15 hours ago

A statistical analysis of the gift "fulfillments" at several hundred online wedding gift registries suggests that wedding guests are caught between a rock and a hard place when it comes to buying an appropriate gift for the ...

Can new understanding avert tragedy?

18 hours ago

As a boy growing up in Syracuse, NY, Sol Hsiang ran an experiment for a school project testing whether plants grow better sprinkled with water vs orange juice. Today, 20 years later, he applies complex statistical ...

Creative activities outside work can improve job performance

Apr 16, 2014

Employees who pursue creative activities outside of work may find that these activities boost their performance on the job, according to a new study by San Francisco State University organizational psychologist Kevin Eschleman ...

User comments : 0

More news stories

Newlyweds, be careful what you wish for

A statistical analysis of the gift "fulfillments" at several hundred online wedding gift registries suggests that wedding guests are caught between a rock and a hard place when it comes to buying an appropriate gift for the ...

Can new understanding avert tragedy?

As a boy growing up in Syracuse, NY, Sol Hsiang ran an experiment for a school project testing whether plants grow better sprinkled with water vs orange juice. Today, 20 years later, he applies complex statistical ...

Roman dig 'transforms understanding' of ancient port

(Phys.org) —Researchers from the universities of Cambridge and Southampton have discovered a new section of the boundary wall of the ancient Roman port of Ostia, proving the city was much larger than previously ...

Crowd-sourcing Britain's Bronze Age

A new joint project by the British Museum and the UCL Institute of Archaeology is seeking online contributions from members of the public to enhance a major British Bronze Age archive and artefact collection.

Better thermal-imaging lens from waste sulfur

Sulfur left over from refining fossil fuels can be transformed into cheap, lightweight, plastic lenses for infrared devices, including night-vision goggles, a University of Arizona-led international team ...

Hackathon team's GoogolPlex gives Siri extra powers

(Phys.org) —Four freshmen at the University of Pennsylvania have taken Apple's personal assistant Siri to behave as a graduate-level executive assistant which, when asked, is capable of adjusting the temperature ...