The recent police shooting of Jacob Blake and the police killing of Breonna Taylor demonstrate that people are at significant risk of harm, and even death, when excessive force practices are perpetrated with impunity. In both incidents, the officers involved were absolved of criminal charges, which is consistent with a national pattern indicating that police officers rarely face criminal charges for excessive use of force, and if they do, they are unlikely to be convicted.1 The scores of abusive police behaviors that have caught national attention, both before and after George Floyd’s murder in 2020, also reveal a failure of police internal review proceedings to provide oversight and sufficient police accountability. This underscores the dire need for an independent citizen review board with authority to investigate complaints of police brutality, discrimination, and other misconduct. This is the eighth in a series of action briefs on police reform.
The CJR Solution: As state, local, and federal lawmakers, mayors, law enforcement, and other key stakeholders consider-advancing police reform in their respective jurisdiction,