Site Loader

Human Rights Watch is a nonprofit, nongovernmental human rights organization that publishes more than 100 reports and briefings on human right each year. On July 1, 1998 they published a report in which they examined common obstacles to accountability for police abuse in fourteen large cities representing most regions of the nation which include Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Detroit, Indianapolis, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, New Orleans, New York, Philadelphia, Portland, Providence, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C. “Police abuse remains one of the most serious and divisive human rights violations in the United States. The excessive use of force by police officers, including unjustified shootings, severe beatings, fatal chokings, and rough treatment, persists because overwhelming barriers to accountability make it possible for officers who commit human rights violations to escape due punishment and often to repeat their offenses” (Organization, 2013).This report discusses contributing factors involving the most common human rights violations in the cities examined by the human rights watch organization and also how the number of violations in cities can be reduced. When Human Rights Watch examined these fourteen cities there were four common contributing factors found that involved the most common human rights violations. The first factor was weak civilian review. Civilian review allows citizen review agencies to come in and investigate cases of excessive force used by police. External citizen review should be an integral part of police oversight and policy formulation, but instead has been sidelined in most cities examined” (Organization, 2013), because they are under-founded, under-utilized by the public, and undermined and under attack by police officers police unions and others. The second factor was leadership failure. “Police administrators, the officials most responsible for addressing the problem of police abuse, are not yet taking this issue seriously enough” (Organization, 2013).When investigating the cases the administrators and internal affairs often conduct a poor investigation that is biased an in favor of the officer being investigated. It was noted that it has taken high profile cases like the Rodney King beating and heavy negative media attention to produce necessary reforms that are not fully operational. The third factor is ineffectual civil remedies which is when the victims that experience human violations by police file a civil lawsuit.Although some victims have won these lawsuits and obtained compensation, and a small percentage have led to reforms in training and flawed policies, “most police departments examined did not have to pay plaintiffs; the payments come instead from the city’s general budget……. and officer’s behavior has cost a city hundreds of thousands, or millions, of dollars in payments to victims, there is often no linkage to that officer’s performance evaluations – even when the lawsuit alleges serious violations” (Organization, 2013). Civil lawsuits are steadily increasing for citizens trying to compensate for being violated.The fourth factor is passivity on criminal prosecutions; police officers are very rarely prosecuted. “Many local prosecutors are unwilling to prosecute vigorously officers who normally help them in criminal cases…. Federal prosecutors, who can prosecute officers under criminal civil rights statutes, almost never pursue even strong cases” (Organization, 2013). These are the common factors that contribute to human right violations, but there is a number way that these violations can be reduced. There first way is what each individual can do which is to write to your city government, state legislators U. S.Representative or Senators, to” urge them to provide full funding for citizen review “urge it to require your police department to create and utilize “early warning” or at-risk” systems to identify officers who are the subjects of repeated complaints or civil lawsuits alleging misconduct, to create a special prosecutor’s office to handle the investigation and prosecution of police officers accused of brutality or corruption, and urge them to condition federal funding to police departments on those departments’ reporting on incidents of excessive force by their officers and on respect for human rights” (Organization, 2013).Keep filing civil lawsuits, and going to the media. Police departments can enforce better polices and hold officers more responsible for their actions. They can take citizens’ complaints more serious, and they can punish officers when they violate citizen rights.

Post Author: admin

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *