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Criminal Law

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Police Reforms in the Criminal Justice System
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Police Reforms in the Criminal Justice SystemThe United States of America is the most racially diverse nation in the world. One expects that the economic gains are equally shared across society; however, some segments of American communities are marginalized. One aspect of the marginalization is in the criminal justice system where persons of color are treated disparately. This has fostered mistrust of the criminal justice system impeding efforts to promote public safety. The police are the first contact of the criminal justice system, and they are mandated to make an arrest for anyone suspected of wrongdoing. Yet, American policing bears majority of the mistrust of the criminal justice system. In August 9, 2014, an unarmed teenager, Michael Brown, was shot twelve times by Darren Wilson, a white Ferguson police officer. Ever since, the news has been dominated by accounts of African Americans who meet their deaths at the hands of the police. From Laquan McDonald, a teenager shot sixteen times while walking past police officers to Samuel Dubose, a forty-three-year-old shot dead during a traffic stop. These incidences sparked widespread public outrage, especially the Michael Brown’s where police were also criticized for use of excessive force. The decision by the grand jury to acquit Darren Wilson, plus other similar decisions create an urgent need to address the racial inequalities in the policing system of the criminal justice.

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Police reforms are needed to address police accountability, use of excessive force, and policies on arrest and prosecution. This paper discusses the ideas to reform this system: improved training of police; improved police accountability; reconciling police and community, and independent investigations and prosecutions of police involved in gross misconduct.

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