Report on Philadelphia Police: New Rules, Training Needed
"A long-awaited U.S. Justice Department report on police shootings in
Philadelphia concluded Monday that there is "significant strife between
the community and the department," and recommended wholesale changes in
procedures and training.
The federal Office of Community
Oriented Policing Services (COPS) issued 48 findings and 91
recommendations for the Philadelphia department to consider in 'reforming its deadly force practices.'
...Much of the report echoed criticisms raised for years in community
meetings, past audits of the department, and lawsuits against the city....
Paul Messing, a Temple University Law School professor and
civil-rights lawyer, said the report 'confirmed what we've known for
years' - that the department's disciplinary process has 'a complete lack
The Justice Department's report also criticized
police policies on use of force, calling them confusing and
inconsistent. The main directive on using deadly force was deemed 'too
vague,' the report said.
It noted that under current rules, an
officer who had violated its deadly force policy three times could get
off with only a reprimand. And it found that the department's
investigations of officer-involved shootings had 'a general lack of
consistency in quality.'
The report called for a specialized unit
to investigate such cases. It also recommended that officers involved
in shootings be interviewed by investigators soon after the incident.
Now, those officers are interviewed only after the district attorney's
investigation into the matter is concluded, which can take months...."
View the Report