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NCJ Number: 184459 Find in a Library
Title: Proactive Defense Strategies Can Minimize Risk
Journal: Police Chief  Volume:67  Issue:7  Dated:July 2000  Pages:18-23
Author(s): Jeremy Margolis; Darren Watts; Iain Johnston
Date Published: July 2000
Page Count: 5
Type: Report (Technical Assistance)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: The experience of the Illinois State Police (ISP) with litigation on racial profiling demonstrates that police agencies are vulnerable to unfounded allegations of racial profiling and can minimize the risk of costly litigation by focusing on supervision, policies and procedures, training, and immediate and active responses to allegations.
Abstract: The ACLU and a consortium of Chicago law firms named the ISP in a racial profiling class-action lawsuit in 1994. The agency used active factual investigation and compelling legal arguments to establish that the organization trains its officers not to use racial profiles and that the allegations lodged against the ISP and the individual officers were patently false. Agencies can reduce the risk of such allegations through monitoring of radio traffic and officer complaints, the use of hands-on supervision to provide insight into potential problems, and making supervision instructive and corrective. Agencies should also adopt and maintain policies against discriminatory law enforcement. A thorough and valid investigative process for motorist complaints must also exist. Officers must also receive excellent training on the principles of equal protection and the Fourth Amendment, on ongoing developments in the law, and on the nature of differing backgrounds and cultures and the way these differences affect police-citizen interaction. Agencies need to take immediate action upon receiving an allegation. They must zealously and fairly abolish any existing racial profiling and stand firm and be defended by competent and experienced attorneys when the allegations are false. Text of resolution on racial and ethnic profiling as adopted by the 1999 annual conference of the International Association of Chiefs of Police
Main Term(s): Complaints against police
Index Term(s): Defense; Lawsuits; Police management; Police policies and procedures; Police-minority relations; Racial discrimination
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