Nov 03

Government trusters occasionally criticize policing, but offer no realistic remedy


Years ago, I authored one of the most widely read law review articles on the abuses and unconstitutionality of modern policing, “Are Cops Constitutional?”
I have received praise for years from a variety of anti-police-brutality writers and organizations.

But many movements aimed at stopping police criminality and abuses offer pointless solutions. One commonly suggested remedy is to impose so-called ‘citizen review boards’ in which groups of citizens sit in judgment of police officers accused of abuses.

The fix offers false hope, as most of these ‘citizen review boards’ quickly become political organizations which support the establishment and rarely if ever order the firing of an officer or any other substantive remedy.

See this study by the Cato Institute.

“The idea behind civilian review boards,” according to Cato’s Tim Lynch, “is to have a separate, independent entity address citizen complaints of police abuse.”

“In practice, however, civilian review boards have proven to be an ineffectual check against police misconduct.” The membership in such boards is invariably chosen by mayors, police chiefs, or other government authorities.

The real remedy–the only viable remedy–is to slash police budgets whenever police criminality surfaces; but trusters in government seem to never fathom this obvious truism.