The next time a police officer shoots someone, they should be called on Twitter to explain their actions and to be held accountable.
But what if you have no idea who did what to whom?
What if you can’t tell a cop or a journalist who was on the scene of a shooting what to do?
Or what if the police have already decided what to charge the suspect with?
Those are the questions that have arisen as more than 100 people, including many journalists, have been killed by police since last year.
“The police department needs to have a narrative for how the police are reacting to these situations,” says Eric Garner, an attorney who specializes in policing issues and is the co-founder of the Garner Action Coalition.
“The only way that’s going to happen is if there’s an accountability system in place to look at how the city is being policed and to make sure that there’s accountability for police officers who are making these decisions.”
While police officers are sometimes accused of excessive force or murder, they’re also often accused of using excessive force and other offenses in the process.
A report from the Police Executive Research Forum, a Washington think tank, found that more than half of police shootings occur after the officers have been placed on administrative leave or have been terminated.
A recent study by the Police Foundation found that police officers were disproportionately arrested for less serious offenses, such as drug possession and shoplifting, than civilians, and that officers were over-burdened with paperwork.
And while some departments have stepped up accountability for officers, they often do so at the expense of citizens.
The Washington Post reported last year that the Justice Department has taken over a review of police use of force, and a recent study found that some departments are using body cameras instead of video recorders.
But police departments still have a lot of power to decide who’s being held accountable, Garner says.
“It’s an inherent conflict of interest, but the police department has a duty to do that,” he says.
“There’s a lack of accountability.
And it’s something that’s not going to change in this climate of police accountability.”
In this photo provided by the family of Philando Castile, a black man killed by a white police officer, a protester speaks during a vigil for the slain Minnesota police officer on Dec. 12, 2017, in Minneapolis.
AP photoBy the time the officer involved in the fatal shooting of Castile was charged with second-degree murder in 2016, he was serving a 16-month sentence on a robbery conviction.
In 2015, the same year Castile’s death, two other officers shot and killed a man in the North Carolina town of Floyd.
In 2015, a third officer shot and wounded an unarmed man outside a convenience store in Atlanta.
And a fourth officer fatally shot a man after responding to a domestic violence call.
The department has since been disbanded.
As part of its ongoing investigation, the Justice Departments Civil Rights Division has launched an independent review of the police departments nationwide.
The investigation, which has yet to be released, will include the findings of the Civil Rights Unit, the department’s Civilian Complaint Review Board, the Minneapolis Police Department and the city of Minneapolis.
The bureau will also look at whether the police were in compliance with federal civil rights laws.
As for the issue of accountability, Garner is concerned that the department is taking a one-sided approach to the issue.
“If there’s no accountability, then you’re not going do your job, you’re just going to have more people doing your job,” he said.
“And it’s not just about police.
If we don’t have accountability, we’re going to keep having people doing what they’re doing, which is making the world a worse place.”
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Then that’s just going be the next thing we’re doing.”
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