Private citizens are doing the work – at their own expense – to determine whether patterns of police misconduct exist in America’s major cities. Their findings may serve as a basis under the law for subsequent federal investigation.
It’s a worthy project, made worthier still by their willingness to pursue it on their own time.
The sad truth is that private citizens have to do the research work to justify federal review merely for the redress of other citizens’ injuries and grievances:
WASHINGTON – In an effort to combat police brutality in the Black community, the National Bar Association (NBA) recently announced plans to file open records requests in 25 cities to study allegations of police misconduct.
Pamela Meanes, president of the Black lawyers and judges group, said that the NBA was already making plans for a nationwide campaign to fight police brutality when Michael Brown, an unarmed Black teenager was shot and killed by Darren Wilson, a White police officer following a controversial midday confrontation in a Ferguson, Mo….
The lawyers group will file open records requests in Birmingham, Ala.; Little Rock, Ark.; Phoenix; Los Angeles; San Jose, Calif., Washington, D.C.; Jacksonville, Fla.; Miami; Atlanta; Chicago; Louisville, Ky.; Baltimore; Detroit; Kanas City, Mo.; St. Louis, Mo.; Charlotte, N.C.; Las Vegas; New York City; Cleveland, Ohio, Memphis, Tenn., Philadelphia; Dallas; Houston; San Antonio, Texas, and Milwaukee, Wis.
In a press release about the open records requests, the group said it will not only seek information about “the number of individuals who have been killed, racially profiled, wrongfully arrested and/or injured while pursued or in police custody, but also comprehensive data from crime scenes, including “video and photographic evidence related to any alleged and/or proven misconduct by current or former employees,” as well background information on officers involved in the incidents.
Not only will the NBA present their findings to the public, but the group also plans to compile its research and forward the data over to the attorney general’s office.
Meanes said that the group’s ultimate goal is to have a conversation with Attorney General Eric Holder and to ask him, and in some cases, demand that he seize police departments or take over some investigations that are going on in states or run concurrent investigations….