The New Orleans Police were in the process of starting a new program to address misconduct and police brutality as calls for reform around the country increased in the prior months.
Data and information about police misconduct leads to proposed solutions in New Orleans
Research has shown that police misconduct, especially in departments in major cities, can be very hard to detect and remedy. One of the proposed solutions is to promote and reward good conduct among officers with hope that this behavior spreads through departments. Much of the data behind this new program came from six years worth of complaints filed against police officers in the city of Chicago, which was reviewed by a Northwestern University professor.
The first important point that was extracted from the data is that misconduct often happens on a large scale. There were about 16,000 complaints filed during this time period, which amounts to about 7 per day for the entire six years that were analyzed. These complaints tended to cluster into similar patterns of behavior from officers who influenced each other.
New Orleans used information like this to start a program called EPIC. This stands for Ethical Policing is Courageous. A sergeant who is in charge of the program said that officers in the department now routinely yell out EPIC while on duty to warn each other about possible ethical issues. This has caused the program to essentially become a combination of peer pressure, ethics training, and intervention. Officers have recounted stories in heated situations where they walked away and avoided escalations of violence due to the training and influence from other officers on the scene. This is especially helpful if at least one officer on the scene of a situation that is about to become violent remembers their training and can remind the others. Some interventions have led to officers saving their careers when they could have possibly been fired for violent reactions.
Knowing your rights and responding to police misconduct and brutality
There are laws which prevent police officers or any other government employees from using the authority of their position to harm members of the public. These civil rights laws have formed the basis for numerous police brutality lawsuits over the years. Any officer who beats someone, illegally arrests them, falsely imprisons them, or uses deadly force can be held accountable for these actions. An attorney who focuses on this area of the law can provide more information about how to bring a case against the department and officer responsible.
Speak with an injury attorney in the Baton Rouge area
If you have been harmed in any kind of accident in Louisiana, there are attorneys who can help you. To get more information about civil lawsuits, contact:
3960 Government St., Baton Rouge, LA 70806