In the news

This page contains news article for those interested in all facets of law enforcement oversight and reform. These articles span all states and cover police departments as well as Sheriff's departments. We're providing this information for those who wish to better understand why oversight is needed, the challenges it faces, and where and how it has improved the communities that have adopted it. Articles will open in a new tab.

Watching the Watchmen

Too many Americans today live in fear that they may suffer abuse or excessive force at the hands of police officers who are sworn to protect them.

To keep Americans safer, the federal government and state and local governments need to match continued investments in policing with reforms that make law enforcement agencies as a whole — as well as individual officers — more accountable to the communities that they serve.

Cities need to establish clear and consistent procedures for the independent review of the use of force by law enforcement officers.

Read the full story at The New York Times Editorial Board

New police stops data shows stark racial disparities in these wealthy Bay Area enclaves

The data, released this week by the state attorney general, reveals that Black drivers and pedestrians are far more likely to be stopped and searched than white people in nearly every part of the state, despite being less likely to be found carrying contraband, such as illegal guns or drugs, when stopped.

Some of the Bay Area’s wealthiest mid-size communities had the starkest racial disparities. In Los Altos and Belmont, two Silicon Valley suburbs, Black people were nine and 10 times as likely to be stopped by police, respectively, than white residents in 2021, relative to their share of the population.

Read the full story at San Francisco Chronicle

Rep. Jackie Speier champions civilian oversight at local group’s meeting

Speier addressed the members of Fixin’ San Mateo County, a grassroots organization working to establish civilian oversight of the sheriff’s office and an inspector general with subpoena power, as a special guest at their monthly membership meeting Tuesday night. Speier, who endorsed the movement earlier this year, talked about the value of civilian oversight in democracy, answering questions from the public and sharing her own experiences serving on oversight committees. Fifty-three people attended the virtual event.

Read the full story at RWC Pulse

County officials take next steps towards establishing civilian oversight of the sheriff’s office

The establishment of civilian oversight over the San Mateo County County Sheriff’s Office seems increasingly likely after receiving strong support from the Board of Supervisors this week.

The board voted unanimously on Tuesday to create an ad hoc committee that will research and report on potential civilian oversight. Supervisors Dave Pine and Warren Slocum were appointed to the committee.

Read the full story at RWC Pulse