What We Mean By ‘Criminal.’

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Monica has written here before about her days as investigator for the Civilian Complaint Review Board, the NYC agency that looks into allegations from civilians about police misconduct.

She dropped by NPR’s Code Switch — my day job — to talk about what it’s been like to watch all these videos of police officers [...]

To Protect and Serve?

This is so tone-deaf that it almost defies belief:

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. (AP) — A police union has given its Officer of the Year award to the policeman who shot and killed a college football player during a disturbance in the New York City suburbs.

Parents of the student, 20-year-old Danroy Henry Jr., of Easton, [...]

Leftovers.

via Muffet/Flickr/CC 2.0.P

It was only two months ago that the Democrats lost the House and President Obama was looking seriously diminished. But his approval numbers have bounced back — he goes into tonight’s State of the Union address around 50 percent in a bunch of major polls —- presenting Republicans with some interesting [...]

If God Is Willing and Da Creek Don’t Rise, Part Two

Say what you will about Spike Lee’s polemics; the man knows how to craft a powerful narrative. Whereas Part One of If God Is Willing and Da Creek Don’t Rise opened with the excitement of the Saint’s Superbowl win, the opening montage of Part Two—filled with footage of the havoc wreaked by the oil spill—set [...]

Apologizing.

The girl punched in the face by an officer in Seattle has apologized. One of the frustrating things about how incidents like this play out is how rarely anyone in the situation apologizes, or has anything explained to them. Many people operate under misunderstandings on how policing works, and it’s pretty rare for anyone to [...]

Force, Cops and Women.

So, I hate police brutality as much as the next person, but over at TAPPED today I tried to lay out the scenarios in which cops can use force. The fact is they can. If someone resists arrest or become physically violent, officers can use force to get them under control and make the [...]

No Indictment in 'Friendly-Fire' Case.

Remember that weird, problematic case in which the off-duty officer, in plainclothes, pulled out his gun and chased a guy who may have broken into his car, and then other cops came and shot that off-duty cop? News from the New York Times:

A grand jury in Manhattan has voted not to indict a New [...]

When the Outside Looks Like the Inside.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DJ2V6abw2_g] A few years back, my co-blogger quadmoniker worked for New York City’s Civilian Complaint Review Board, which is supposed to act as a watchdog group for the city’s police department. If a citizen wanted to file a complaint against a police officer, she would do so with the CCRB, who would then dispatch an [...]