Both The New York Times and The Washington Post recently featured articles on trends of “policing the police.”
The gist of the Post’s article is captured in the headline: “When police kill unarmed black males, what seems obvious on video rarely leads to convictions.” One of the takeaways from the article is that the prevalence of video, whether it’s police body camera footage or bystander cell phone video, acts as an accelerant to an issue that is already raw and emotional. The issue is also fraught with complications because, in actuality, what might seem obvious on video is not always so obvious in a wider context.
The New York Times article looks at competing bills in the California legislature. One bill makes it easier to prosecute officers who use deadly force. The other requires law enforcement agencies to adopt use-of-force policies and increase de-escalation training for their officers.
The National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) has a good “Law Enforcement Overview” page that points to several existing state laws that have been enacted in this area in the last few years. NCSL also tracks police body camera legislation by state.
In addition, a few years ago the National Police Foundation developed an informative use-of-force infographic.