Law Enforcement

Can Civilian Oversight Change Police Behavior?

COMMENTARY | Cities across the country are looking at creating police oversight bodies. That makes questions about their efficacy and value more important than ever.

Goodbye, Confederate Statues. Hello, Dolly Parton and Chef Boyardee?

There's little consensus on what to put up in place of Confederate monuments and other controversial political statues.

Don't Want to Wear a Mask? In Some Places, It Could Cost You.

States and cities are introducing penalties for people who don't comply with mandatory mask policies. But enforcement is tricky, with some public officials and civil rights experts arguing fines are counterproductive.

State AG Recommends Data Reporting Mandate for Police Deadly Force Incidents

As it stands, most police agencies in Washington state are not reporting this type of information through a program the FBI launched last year.

Fire Departments Anticipate Busy Fourth of July as Fireworks Sales Skyrocket

In a normal year, fire safety officials encourage people to attend public fireworks displays instead of attempting to create them at home. But most fireworks shows are canceled this year because of coronavirus.

Golden State Killer Pleads Guilty to 'Simply Staggering' Crimes that Terrified California Communities

STATE AND LOCAL NEWS ROUNDUP | Houston prosecutor resigns over Facebook post … Protesters call for St. Louis mayor to resign … Bars to close in some California jurisdictions.

Lawmakers Push for Special Prosecutors to Oversee Cases Involving Police Killings

Proponents say assigning special prosecutors to investigate when police officers use deadly force can eliminate a potential conflict of interest among local district attorneys who regularly work with police.

Power to Rework Criticized Police Contracts Lies With Elected Leaders

In the wake of protests over police brutality, new attention is being focused on police unions and their contracts, known to stymie reforms. Will mayors and city council members force changes?

Virginia, New York Declare Juneteenth a State Holiday

Governors in both states are giving state workers a paid day off as they propose legislation to commemorate the emancipation of slaves.

Trump Signs Police Reform Executive Order to Encourage More Training, Other Changes

The order will incentivize police departments to meet use of force training and certification standards, share information about excessive use of force complaints and to dispatch social workers with police on certain calls.

Supreme Court Declines to Take Up Limits of Legal Immunity for Police

The court decided not to consider eight cases that challenge the legal doctrine of qualified immunity, which has been used to throw out civil lawsuits about police use of force.

Nashville Follows Tennessee's Lead, Stops Sharing Coronavirus Patient Information with Police

The city’s board of health voted to stop sharing names and addresses of people who tested positive for Covid-19 with law enforcement after lawmakers raised privacy concerns.

Is It Time to Create a National Registry of Police Misconduct?

Police officers who are fired for misconduct can often find law enforcement jobs in different jurisdictions. Some lawmakers think a national registry could prevent cops with shady records from being hired again.

Will George Floyd’s Death Actually Change How Cities and States Are Run?

COMMENTARY | Institutionalized racism has been an existential threat to the black community for centuries. In the aftermath of George Floyd’s death, it’s up to state and local leaders to usher in badly needed systemwide reform to end racial injustices.

From Jacksonville to Louisville, Confederate Statues Are Coming Down

Calls to remove the statues, denounced as symbols of white supremacy, were reignited in the wake of national protests against police brutality and the death of George Floyd.

What the World Could Teach America About Policing

Examples abound of reforms that are seen as “radical” in the United States.

Congressional Democrats Introduce Sweeping Police Reform Bill

The legislation would seek to ban police practices such as chokeholds and no-knock warrants in drug cases, as well as require state and local police agencies to collect more data on officers' use of force.

Black Lawmakers Are Getting Pepper Sprayed at Protests

A county commissioner, a city councilman and a U.S. congresswoman attended a protest in Columbus to support demonstrators and encourage peaceful tactics. Then police showed up.

Minneapolis Parks, Schools Cut Ties With Police Department

STATE AND LOCAL NEWS ROUNDUP | Racial slur uttered after Ahmaud Arbery shooting, defendant said … Las Vegas bans protesters from carrying backpacks … Hawaii warns of scams targeting sex offenders.

Did Curfews Work? Cities Begin to Roll Back Restrictions

Police say curfews helped quell violence as they begin to lift restrictions, but civil liberties advocates say that they are actually used to stop peaceful protests.