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Instructions: This is a take home examination
Answer both of the below questions.
Q1. You Administrative Officer for the new Chief of Police from the City of Compson. Compson is a city with a population of approximately 250,000 of which 41 % are African – American , 29 % ar Hispanic , 6 % Arab – American and 24 % white . The white population has been stable for several years but the African-American population has been declining as younger middle-class families move communities for housing and employment. The numbers of Hispanics and Arab-Americans has been increasing and they are becoming more involved in the political process.
The Compson PD has a mixed history with the community. CPD has been commited to the community for some time and most of their officers do not have the same “hook and book” attitude of the officers from some of the surrounding larger police agencies. However, a number of the more long-term officers see themselves as being at war with the gangs and drug dealers and they are the thin blue line protecting the community from anarchy
The 360 sworn staff in the CPD is 58 % white , 25 % African – American , 15 % Hispanic and 2 % Arab- American , 22 % of the sworn personnel female .
The new police chief, who came from an outside agency, has been on the job for 3 weeks and last weekend you went with the chief to a community forum where a number of African-American community members got up and spoke about officers profiling young African-American males and being rude, insensitive and heavy-handed when they come into contact with them. Some Hispanic members of the audience said the same thing was happening with young Hispanics, however, other Hispanics, African-American and white members attending the meeting said that “those were the people committing crimes and exactly who the police should be looking for .
This led to very heated debate over law enforcement priorities and control of police. Some community leaders demanded a civilian review board but wanted to be sure there would be an appropriate racial balance on the board and that the board would have real power to discipline problem officers. Others thought this undercut the authority of the new Chief and was a political power play
The City Manager and the City Council members who were present at the meeting want a comprehensive report from the chief detailing:
*As background, they want to know what are some of the factors that are seen as influencing the discretionary behavior of police officers.
* What are the historical issues that might be playing into the view of police by the African- American members of their community?
*How should the City Council approach the issue of racial profiling? (How should they define it? Is all profiling on its face bad? What if it is happening?)
*What are some of the options for the chief to implement to address possible police misconduct?
*What are the options for civilian involvement in the police discipline process and what is your . recommendation for their inclusion and why?
Your task is to provide the background information needed by the chief for the ake Vi For example you could write, “Based upon Laure Brook’s material the factors that might influence police discretionary behavior are…”
Q2. Two months after the community meeting described in question one, two CPD SWAT officers who are assigned as gang suppression unit members were involved in a fatal confrontation with a group of teens following a traffic stop. A nearby resident filmed a portion of the are charges of racial profiling, excessive force and a questioning of the approach of the gang unit officers.
The CPD officers were checking a “hot spot” area identified by the department’s crime analysis unit when they pulled over a red Toyota sedan for not making a full stop when turning right on a red light at a traffic signal. The vehicle was driven by a male African-American youth and contained one Arab- American male and an Arab-American female who was veiled.
The officers told the driver about the violation and added that it looked like they were cruising a neighborhood where there had been a number of gang related shootings and assaults including one incident involving a young male and female with a dark complexion in a red Toyota vehicle. The officers told the youths that they needed to identify everyone in the car and requested that they vehicle. They separated officer taking the two Arab-American youths to the rear of the car.
The officer at the rear of the car told the female she would need to take off her veil so he could compare her face with the picture on her identification. She refused stating it was part of her religious custom wear the garment. The officer repeated the request and explained the need for a complete identification due to a prior incident involving a similar vehicle. When the female still refused to comply, the officer started to take the veil off.
At that point the Arab-American male stepped toward the officer and said “stop touching my sister” The officer pulled her baton and told the brother to “back off or he was going to jail for interfering.” The youth pulled his sister away and stepped between the officer and his sister. The officer told the male youth that he was under arest for interfering and grabbed his arm. The brother pushed the officer and tried to pull away so the officer struck him several times with the baton. The female grabbed the baton as the officer was trying to push her brother to the ground and the officers struck her with knocking her to the ground. The brother hit the officer on the side of the face and grabbed the baton trying pull it from the officer’s grip.
The African-American youth, who was being questioned by the other officer at the front of the car, saw occurring with his friends. He ran toward the officer with the baton and tried to help his friend get the baton out of the officer’s hand. The officer who had been speaking with him aso saw pulled his gun and ordered the youths to “let go of the baton and get on the ground right now”. At that point his partner away from the officer and raised it over his head. The officer at the front of the car, fearing that his partner going to be struck with the baton and seriously injured or killed, fired two rounds striking went down on the ground and the African-American youth got the baton the black youth killing him.
Based upon your recent studies in this area and reading on racially-biases policing and use of force, the Chief wants you to develop information is preparing to present to the City The chief wants you to:
*Identify the types of review that generally occur in these types of incidents case?
*Discuss the key issues that you believe will need to be considered in evaluating the use of force in this incident|?
* Discuss the perceived concerns over the deployment of special unit officers in roles such as this and the potential benefits?
*Discuss the liability issues that may be raised by this incident, and Discuss any policies or training programs that should be reviewed and possibly changed as the result of this incident?
Support your ideas and points of view by indicating which class readings or other sources that you are basing your answer on.