States cp — vs Death Penalty —

— vs Implicit Bias Training —

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States CP
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— vs Implicit Bias Training —

1NC—States CP vs Police Reform

The fifty states and relevant territories should authorize state attorney generals to investigate, litigate, and resolve law enforcement misconduct and provide the necessary subpoena powers and financial resources necessary to achieve this goal.

The states are better positioned to handle police misconduct and improve police-community relations than the federal government

Maxwell & Solomon 18 (Maxwell; Connor Maxwell; Research associate for Race and Ethnicity Policy at the Center for American Progress; Solomon; Danyelle Solomon; Senior Director of Race and Ethnicity Policy at the Center; “Expanding the Authority of State Attorneys General to Combat Police Misconduct”; Center for American Progress; 12/12/18; [DTD]
Granting pattern or practice powers to state attorneys general With insufficient tools and resources—and an administration that has indicated that it opposes evidence-based police reform—the DOJ is incapable of eliminating systemic misconduct nationwide. But states are well-positioned to provide oversight and accountability in the absence of federal leadership. States possess the resources, relationships, and expertise necessary to begin leading reform efforts around the country during the current administration, as well as when the DOJ comes under new, more motivated leadership. For these reasons, states should empower their own attorneys general to investigate, litigate, and resolve the pattern or practice of law enforcement misconduct. By granting this authority, along with robust subpoena powers and significant financial resources, states can ensure every community has access to fair, evidence-based, and effective policing. In 2000, California became the first state to statutorily authorize its attorney general to address rampant police misconduct.41 The following year, it secured a state court-enforced consent decree to reform the Riverside Police Department (RPD), which was plagued by systemic violations of civil rights and a failure to uniformly enforce the law.42 The sweeping reforms included diversity training; reporting of police stops and use of force; and increased monitoring and oversight of law enforcement officers.43 The reforms were a success and have endured long after the agreement’s dissolution in 2006.44 Indeed, complaints against RPD officers plummeted by almost 80 percent—from 185 in 2002 to just 38 in 2015.45 While today’s RPD is not without its problems, evidence suggests the agency and the community it serves benefited tremendously from the state’s pattern or practice police reform case.46 California A.B. 248447 (a) No governmental authority, or agent of a governmental authority, or person acting on behalf of a governmental authority, shall engage in a pattern or practice of conduct by law enforcement officers that deprives any person of rights, privileges, or immunities secured or protected by the Constitution or laws of the United States or by the Constitution or laws of California. (b) The Attorney General may bring a civil action in the name of the people to obtain appropriate equitable and declaratory relief to eliminate the pattern or practice of conduct specified in subdivision (a), whenever the Attorney General has reasonable cause to believe that a violation of subdivision (a) has occurred. For almost 20 years now, California has launched investigations into systemic law enforcement misconduct and negotiated reform agreements that improve trust and safety in local communities.48 Yet, while it was the first and may serve as a model for interested states, California is not the only state committed to ensuring fair, evidence-based, and effective policing. Just days prior to President Trump’s inauguration, the DOJ released the results of a yearlong investigation into unconstitutional use of force and racially discriminatory conduct at the Chicago Police Department (CPD).49 The DOJ identified a pattern or practice that devastated police-community relations, undermined cooperation, and diminished public safety. It argued that the CPD was unlikely to succeed in addressing these systemic problems “without a consent decree with independent monitoring.”50 But after Sessions took control of the DOJ, he dismissed the findings—without even reading the report51—and ordered the department to halt its efforts to address misconduct at the CPD.52 In response to Sessions’ actions, Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan used her pattern or practice authority under the Illinois Human Rights Act of 2004 to file a lawsuit to begin the process of negotiating a consent decree in Chicago.53 In September 2018, Madigan, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, and CPD Superintendent Eddie Johnson filed a 236-page proposed reform agreement in federal court.54 The agreement contains court oversight and an independent monitor and requires substantial reforms in training, reporting, and use of force policy. The agreement is now pending approval from a federal judge, despite former Attorney General Sessions’ efforts to discredit and vilify it.55 When implemented fully, reform agreements are a reliable tool for ensuring that law enforcement agencies engage in fair, evidence-based, and constitutional policing in the communities they serve. Underutilized state authority to pursue pattern or practice cases While many states will need to pass legislation granting pattern or practice authority to their attorneys general, some existing statutes and state constitutions may already permit such cases. In these states, attorneys general may not need to wait for legislative authorization to begin to address systemic law enforcement misconduct. For example, Chapter 12, Section 11H of the Massachusetts General Laws states: Whenever any person or persons, whether or not acting under color of law, interfere by threats, intimidation or coercion, or attempt to interfere by threats, intimidation or coercion, with the exercise or enjoyment by any other person or persons of rights secured by the constitution or laws of the United States, or of rights secured by the constitution or laws of the commonwealth, the attorney general may bring a civil action for injunctive or other appropriate equitable relief in order to protect the peaceable exercise or enjoyment of the right or rights secured. Said civil action shall be brought in the name of the commonwealth and shall be instituted either in the superior court for the county in which the conduct complained of occurred or in the superior court for the county in which the person whose conduct complained of resides or has his principal place of business.56 And the state constitution of Louisiana provides that: As necessary for the assertion or protection of any right or interest of the state, the attorney general shall have authority (1) to institute, prosecute, or intervene in any civil action or proceeding; (2) upon the written request of a district attorney, to advise and assist in the prosecution of any criminal case; and (3) for cause, when authorized by the court which would have original jurisdiction and subject to judicial review, (a) to institute, prosecute, or intervene in any criminal action or proceeding, or (b) to supersede any attorney representing the state in any civil or criminal action.57 Attorneys general in states such as Massachusetts and Louisiana may, in some cases, be permitted to use existing powers to begin the process of helping a law enforcement agency address rampant unconstitutional or unlawful policing. Still, state attorneys general should always consult with their legal advisers and departmental budget executives before opening an investigation. Conclusion Accountability is a core pillar of good government, as it allows the public to have faith in the institutions built to protect and serve them. When accountability is rarely delivered, faith and trust diminish. Law enforcement officers have challenging jobs, but they are not above the law and should be held accountable when appropriate. This is particularly true among communities of color, where residents have faced rampant discrimination, excessive force, and harassment at the hands of police for generations. Yet, with the support of the president of the United States, former Attorney General Sessions stripped essential resources, oversight, and accountability from police departments nationwide. The Trump administration’s irresponsible approach to law enforcement is failing to improve police-community relations and public and officer safety. But law enforcement officers and the communities they serve cannot afford to wait for a new administration—they deserve better. Fortunately, states are well-positioned to ensure local law enforcement has the training, resources, oversight, and accountability necessary to reduce crime and strengthen relationships with communities. The time is now for states to usher in a new era of policing. They should empower state attorneys general to investigate, litigate, and resolve the pattern or practice of police misconduct and begin the hard work of rebuilding trust.

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