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A Multi-City Evaluation of Federal Investigations of Police Departments Open Access

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AbstractA Multi-City Evaluation of Federal Investigations As media has continually brought attention to police and civilian interaction, there is an increased awareness of police officers’ use of force and officer-involved shootings throughout the United States. As a result of the increase in attention to and the prevalence of use of force cases, the Department of Justice has critically evaluated numerous police departments throughout the country in order to understand the challenges they face and make recommendations to improve their departments. Using a content analysis of four official reports, this thesis will examine the investigations of four cities; Philadelphia, Las Vegas, Spokane, and St. Louis. More specifically, this thesis evaluates the major findings of each report and how they are similar and/or differ with respect to challenges such as use of force, community relations, and policies and processes. The analysis points to ways in which the investigations are reflective of larger issues across policing in America. One key finding is that in almost every one of the four cities examined, police departments lack the proper training to consistently do their job according to policy and established standards. The reports also show that the racial makeup of officers is not consistent with the racial makeup of each city and also that there is an overall lack of transparency and trust between law enforcement and the community in these four cities. Keywords: Use of Force, Training, Community Relations

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