Preventing, Identifying, and Addressing Violations: Lessons Learned Recommendations from Civil Rights Litigation

Document and report to supervisors instances where officers ordered members of the public to stop recording

  • Report to supervisors when they believe they were recorded by the public

Have an arrest review policy in place

  • Seek permission from a supervisor before making an arrest.  
  • If the circumstances of the arrest make it impracticable to do so, notify a supervisor as soon as possible afterward

Review the circumstances of the encounter if a search or arrest results in the recovery of contraband evidence

  • Supervisors will memorialize the review in writing, including an assessment of the circumstances under which the search was conducted, evidence was recovered, and/or probable cause for the arrest

Supervisors should take appropriate action to address all violations in arrests

  • Appropriate action may include releasing the individual arrested, recommending non-disciplinary corrective action for the involved officer, and/or referring the incident for administrative or criminal investigation

Develop a protocol for comprehensive analysis of arrest data

  • Establish steps for determining the nature and scope of demographic disparities
  • Determine whether any disparities can be decreased or eliminated
  • Determine which arrest practices are most effective and efficient in increasing public safety and legitimacy within the community

Develop a process for soliciting formal feedback from prosecutors, public defenders, and judges on the quality of law enforcement activity and indications of misconduct. 

  • Implement operational and policy changes based on that feedback

The information provided above has come directly from the consent decree language, which can be accessed by clicking on each corresponding city’s consent decree. This information is intended to guide departments on decisions and actions to improve their Constitutional policing practices. Additional resources and information may be needed to implement these recommendations successfully. For assistance in implementing recommendations, contact the Knowledge Lab team.