Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Department of Justice Outlines Memphis Police Assessment

The Department of Justice COPS office today provided us with its "goals and objectives" for the collaborative review it is conducting with the Memphis Police Department.

This voluntary effort was first announced last October.  In March, the DOJ put out a release that said the collaborative review had been cancelled.  The City of Memphis then put out a release saying, We just forgot to sign some paperwork -- we are still good to go.

Now, seven months later and after two public listening sessions conducted by the COPS (Community Oriented Policing Services) office of the DOJ and their work behind the scenes, we have this statement of goals and objectives.

COPS outlines three main subject areas: 1--Community oriented policing practices in the department: 2--Use of force and deadly force; 3--Oversight, accountability and transparency.

Under oversight, accountability and transparency, topping the list is "citizen complaint investigations."  The city revived its Civilian Law Enforcement Review Board in 2015.  While the board has been hearing cases, its existence remains controversial in some quarters -- its own City Council-appointed liaison Worth Morgan publicly said we don't need it -- and police and the police union are perpetual opponents.

Here is a link to the COPS website with information about collaborative reviews of Memphis and other cities. 

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