Addressing Police Misconduct Laws Enforced By The Department Of Justice

This law makes it unlawful for State or local law enforcement officers to engage in a pattern or practice of conduct that deprives persons of rights protected by the Constitution or laws of the United States. (34 U.S.C. § 12601). The types of conduct covered by this law can include, among other things, excessive force, discriminatory harassment, false arrests, coercive sexual conduct, and unlawful stops, searches or arrests. In order to be covered by this law, the misconduct must constitute a “pattern or practice” — it may not simply be an isolated incident. The DOJ must be able to show in court that the agency has an unlawful policy or that the incidents constituted a pattern of unlawful conduct. However, unlike the other civil laws discussed below, DOJ does not have to show that discrimination has occurred in order to prove a pattern or practice of misconduct. What remedies are available under this law? The remedies available under this law do not provide for individual monetary relief for the victims of the misconduct. Rather, they provide for injunctive relief, such as orders to end the misconduct and changes in the agency’s policies and procedures that resulted in or allowed the misconduct. There is no private right of action under this law; only DOJ may file suit for violations of the Police Misconduct Provision. 

Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the “OJP Program Statute”

Together, these laws prohibit discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, and religion by State and local law enforcement agencies that receive financial assistance from DOJ. (42 U.S.C. § 2000d, et seq. and 34 U.S.C. § 10228). These laws prohibit both individual instances and patterns or practices of discriminatory misconduct, i.e., treating a person differently because of race, color, national origin, sex, or religion. The misconduct covered by Title VI and the OJP (Office of Justice Programs) Program Statute includes, for example, harassment or use of racial slurs, discriminatory arrests, discriminatory traffic stops, coercive sexual conduct, retaliation for filing a complaint with DOJ or participating in the investigation, discriminatory use of force, or refusal by the agency to respond to complaints alleging discriminatory treatment by its officers.
— Read on www.justice.gov/crt/addressing-police-misconduct-laws-enforced-department-justice

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