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Articles on Police reform

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Another door closes on federal police reform. Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Federal police reform talks have failed – but local efforts stand a better chance of success

Months of bipartisan talks in Congress aimed at reaching consensus over policing reforms have ended with no agreement. Two policing scholars argue that federal efforts are better placed focusing on supporting local measures.
Police remove encampment supporters as they clear Lamport Stadium Park encampment in Toronto on July 21, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young

Homeless encampment violence in Toronto betrays any real hope for police reform

A year after historic protests for police reform, it’s clear that the Toronto Police aren’t sincere about changing how they treat historically over-policed and criminalized communities.
A group of policemen in Marseille, France, pass in front of a bus shelter featuring a poster from the television series ‘Paris Police 1900’. (Shutterstock)

Cop shows: Should they be cancelled or rebooted?

The classic cop show is now a problematic genre, but if it can change, then perhaps real world policing can too.
Protesters attend an anti-government march at Plaza Bolivar in Bogota, Colombia, where citizens have taken to the streets for weeks after proposed tax increases and to decry police brutality. (AP Photo/Fernando Vergara)

Why Colombians are taking to the streets to protest state violence

The Colombian government responded violently to a general strike over tax reforms that primarily affected working-class citizens. It has fueled calls for police reform.
Legislation pending in Congress would contribute to reforming how police conduct themselves – but there’s a limit to what federal legislation can do. Seth Herald / AFP/Getty Images

Congress can’t do much about fixing local police – but it can tie strings to federal grants

While many in America are looking to Congress to pass police reform legislation, the federal government has almost no control over state and local police departments.
Seattle police officers deploy pepper spray as they clash with protesters in Seattle, Washington, on July 25, 2020. Jason Redmond/AFP via Getty Images

Racial groups suffer disparate consequences after unfair police treatment – but not the groups you might think

New research confirms that unfair police treatment is psychologically damaging and that the consequences are decidedly worse for certain racial and ethnic groups.
Getting police and community on board with reforms is crucial for success. Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

American cities have long struggled to reform their police – but isolated success stories suggest community and officer buy-in might be key

Attempts to reform US police departments fail when they are unable to get community support. Perhaps it is time to take a different tack, argue two criminal justice scholars – one a former cop.
People protest to defund the police in front of Toronto Police Service headquarters on July 16, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette)

Rather than defunding the police, politicians are increasing funding for body-worn cameras

Amidst calls to defund the police, political leaders are increasing police budgets, arguing — incorrectly — that increasing police surveillance capacities will help provide accountability.
Research shows that arrests for serious crimes are quite rare. Blake Nissen for The Boston Globe via Getty Images

Police solve just 2% of all major crimes

When police arrest a suspect who is then convicted of the crime, it is a rare exception rather than the rule in the US.
Police in Tulsa, Okla., march toward a crowd of demonstrators on June 20, 2020. Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

Teach police nonviolence, scholars say, and how to work with local residents

Scholars who study policing explain what they have found that could help reduce police prejudice and violence.
Protesters in front of Boston Police Headquarters during a United Against Racist Police Terror Rally on June 7, 2020. Matthew J. Lee/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

Police unions are one of the biggest obstacles to transforming policing

Across the United States, police are shielded from both public and departmental accountability by multiple layers of contractual and legislative protections.

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