Periodic report of the united states of america to the united nations committee on the elimination of racial discrimination

Depending on the location of the conduct, the actor, and other circumstances, any number of remedies, including the following, may be available

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90. Depending on the location of the conduct, the actor, and other circumstances, any number of remedies, including the following, may be available:

  • Criminal charges, which can lead to investigation and possible prosecution, 18 U.S.C. 242;

  • Civil actions in federal or state court under the federal civil rights statute, 42 U.S.C. 1983, directly against state or local officials for money damages or injunctive relief;

  • Suits for damages for negligence of federal officials and for negligence and intentional torts of federal law enforcement officers under the Federal Tort Claims Act, 28 U.S.C. 2671 et seq., or of state and municipal officials under comparable state statutes;

  • Suits against federal officials directly for damages under provisions of the U.S. Constitution for “constitutional torts,” see Bivens v. Six Unknown Named Agents, 403 U.S. 388 (1971); Davis v. Passman, 442 U.S. 228 (1979);

  • Challenges to official action or inaction through judicial procedures in state courts and under state law, based on statutory or constitutional provisions;

  • Suits for civil damages from participants in conspiracies to deny civil rights under 42 U.S.C. 1985;

  • Claims for administrative remedies for alleged police misconduct;

  • Federal civil proceedings under the pattern or practice provision of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994, 42 U.S.C. 14141, or federal administrative and civil proceedings against law enforcement agencies receiving federal funds;

  • Individual administrative actions or civil suits against law enforcement agencies receiving federal financial assistance under federal civil rights laws, see 42 U.S.C. 2000d (Title VI); 42 U.S.C. 3789d (Safe Streets Act);

  • In the case of persons in detention or other institutionalized settings, federal civil proceedings under the Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act of 1980 (CRIPA), 42 U.S.C. 1997.

91. The Administration aggressively enforces laws against police brutality and discriminatory policing. As noted above, DOJ investigates police departments, prisons and other institutions to ensure compliance with the law and brings legal action where necessary against both institutions and individuals. DOJ has convicted 254 such defendants for violating the civil rights laws between FY 2009 and FY 2012, a 13.4% increase from the number convicted in the previous four years.  

92. Within DHS, component agencies such as CBP and ICE are subject to strict restrictions and to investigations, when warranted, regarding incidents of assaults, harassment, threats, or shootings involving employees. State and local law enforcement agency personnel who exercise limited authority to help enforce U.S. immigration laws in prisons and jails under programs such as the ICE 287(g) program are bound by similar restrictions, and ICE closely monitors their compliance, including through investigations by the ICE Office of Professional Responsibility. All law enforcement officers authorized to perform 287(g) program functions in prisons and jails must pass a four-week training course at the ICE Academy, which includes coursework on the ICE Use of Force Policy, among other topics.

93. Finally, in addition to government-initiated actions, private litigants may sue law enforcement agencies for discriminatory police activities. See, e.g., Elliot-Park v. Manglona, 592 F. 3d 1003 (9th Cir. 2010) (failure to investigate an auto accident due to race of persons involved violated equal protection).

94. Encourage arrangements for communication and dialogue. DOJ/CRS provides conciliation services intended to prevent violence and reduce community tensions stemming from issues of race, color, and national origin. CRS works directly with local law enforcement and minority communities to address actual or perceived instances of racial profiling, biased policing practices and policies, and the excessive use of force. This is done through a combination of mediation, training, and bringing law enforcement officials and minority community leaders together for facilitated problem-solving dialogues. DOJ/CRS has established a Law Enforcement Mediation Skills Program, designed to equip law enforcement officers with basic mediation and conflict resolution skills. In addition, the DOJ Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) is charged with advancing the practice of community policing at all levels. To that end, COPS has published more than 35 documents regarding anti-discrimination to help state and local law enforcement.

95. In addition, beginning in 2003, the DOJ Office for Victims of Crime (DOJ/OVC) ) funded a multiyear effort of the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) to develop and implement a national strategy to create systemic change among law enforcement agencies in their response to victims, both in philosophy and practice.  Under the Enhancing Law Enforcement Response to Victims, the IACP developed and field-tested a comprehensive package of resources for local agencies to facilitate implementation of this shift.  The strategy focuses on core elements of leadership, community partnering, training, and performance monitoring – with communication critical to each of those elements.  Potential benefits of enhancing law enforcement’s response to victims include: better citizen perception of community safety and increased confidence and trust in law enforcement, and greater willingness on the part of victims to cooperate with investigations.  The resources are available at DOJ, the DHS Federal Law Enforcement Training Center, and state and local agencies and training academies are also heavily involved in training law enforcement officers, including diversity training and training in defusing racially and ethnically tense situations. Law enforcement officers receive periodic training on these issues throughout their careers. The DHS CRCL Institute offers multiple training courses and materials, including materials on working effectively with Arab and Muslim Americans and others. DHS/CRCL also conducts robust and sustained engagement on a regular basis with communities throughout the United States whose civil rights and liberties may be affected by government policies, programs, or personnel. This community engagement takes a whole-of-government approach that ensures the participation of federal, state, and local authorities to address diverse community concerns and provide avenues of redress.

96. Many law enforcement agencies partner with NGOs to provide training to their officers. For example, the non-governmental American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee offers a Law Enforcement Outreach Program that has trained representatives of many federal law enforcement agencies, including the FBI, DHS, and the U.S. Park Police, in addition to training more than 20,000 individuals in academic institutions and industries such as the airlines. Local and state law enforcement agencies also reach out to community members.

97. Recruitment of minorities in law enforcement. According to the DOJ Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS), Federal Law Enforcement Officers, 2008, members of minorities made up 34.3% of all federal law enforcement officers in 2008. This representation included Hispanic/Latino officers (19.8%), non-Hispanic Black/African American officers (10.4%), Asians and Pacific Islander officers (3.0%), and Native American officers (1.0%). There were gains since 1996, when members of minorities made up only 28% of officers, and 2004 when minorities made up 33.2%. The largest gain occurred for Hispanic/Latino officers, who increased from 13.1% in 1996 to 19.8% in 2008, While the composition of the law enforcement community overall now more closely represents that of the U.S. population as a whole, recognizing the importance of broad representation at all levels, police departments and law enforcement agencies continue to reach out to candidates from minority groups.

98. Return or removal to another country. Discussion of immigration relief and protection from removal available to asylum-seekers and other noncitizens in the United States is provided under Article 13 of the 2011 U.S. ICCPR Report.

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