The data visualization project, released by the Black Lives Matter initiative Campaign Zero, reveals several stipulations written into contracts or state law that activists claim hinder investigations into police misconduct.
WASHINGTON — A majority of U.S. cities with police union contracts and nearly every state with a version of the Law Enforcement Officers’ Bill of Rights have at least one major barrier to holding police accountable for misconduct, a new report claims.
The data visualization project, released by the Black Lives Matter initiative Campaign Zero, looks at jurisdictions that dismiss police complaints, restrict or delay the interrogation of an officer, give officers compromising access to information, limit oversight or discipline, and either pay for, or erase records of, police misconduct.
Campaign Zero is made up of activists Samuel Sinyangwe, Brittany Packnett, Johnetta Elzie and DeRay Mckesson. The review, which includes a state-by-state breakdown of each state’s restrictive measures, is part of a broader movement to increase transparency in police departments around the country in an effort to reduce police violence.
“In terms of results, I hope this information empowers communities to effectively push city leaders to remove these types of barriers to accountability in their contracts, as we are seeing happen with newfound pressure to renegotiate contract provisions in Chicago and Seattle, for example,” Campaign Zero’s Samuel Singyangwe said in an email statement to BuzzFeed News.
The report reveals several stipulations written into contracts or state law that Campaign Zero claims hinder investigations into police misconduct. In Florida, for instance, there is a180-day statute of limitations on investigations or “disciplinary action, suspension, demotion, or dismissal may not be undertaken by an agency against a law enforcement officer or correctional officer for any act, omission, or other allegation of misconduct” according to the state’s policy language.
Other findings in the report include:
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