From The Slow Wheels of Justice [Department]
August 30, 2002 3:24 PM   Subscribe

From The Slow Wheels of Justice [Department] we read that "there have been persistent complaints of excessive force by officers of Prince George's County Police Department, Maryland over many years. Cases of concern include police shootings; deaths in custody from dangerous restraint holds or other force and unresisting suspects mauled by police dogs....In November 2000 the US Department of Justice opened a civil rights investigation into the police department to determine whether it engaged in a "pattern and practice" of brutality and racial discrimination....However, after 20 months of investigation, the Justice Department has not yet issued any public findings or recommendations to the police department."
posted by fold_and_mutilate (7 comments total)
f_and_m, its been my experience that open-ended questions rarely make for great discussion. But I'm glad you've posted this, nonetheless, simply because of the fact that I was not aware of the specifics. Also, Amnesty Int. has a clear agenda, and the legal resources to back it. Why haven't they petitioned the DOJ for disclosure (or have they, and I missed it)?
posted by Wulfgar! at 3:31 PM on August 30, 2002

'Course, Justice/Ashdroft have been busy tracking terrorists. So here's a hint: looks like some may have been in Prince George's County for a while.
posted by fold_and_mutilate at 4:46 PM on August 30, 2002

f_and_m, hiding behind the illusion of facts, doesn't make you that much smarterin' than all us uderin' y'knows. Hows bouts you lets us'un know what's yoose on about.

(I can honestly say I've never seen anybody derail their own thread before.)
posted by Wulfgar! at 4:56 PM on August 30, 2002

And yes, the thing that really pisses me off is that I thought this might turn into something rich and meaningful. My bad.
posted by Wulfgar! at 4:57 PM on August 30, 2002

You know, I was actually considering for and idle moment what a career in law enforcement would be like.
posted by Lord Chancellor at 12:26 AM on August 31, 2002

justice is looking into whether there is oil in maryland before it makes any rash moves.
posted by quonsar at 7:17 AM on August 31, 2002

Fold and Mutilate, are you saying the civil rights investigation has been put on hold while they look for terrorists?

Maryland is not alone. In my area, Detroit has an open federal civil rights investigation from 12/2000 that is still ongoing. The allegations are a bit different, more dealing with brutality and incompetence rather than race related stuff. Some snippets:
Mishandling of prisoners
Excessive Use of Deadly Force

My favorite is the practice of arresting everybody on the scene of the crime so they can be interrogated, rather than questioned as witnesses. Round up the usual suspects!

The investigation was in the news again locally because a conviction of a murder was just overturned on DNA evidence. Apparently the confession was coerced.

Anyway, like Maryland, the investigation is far from over. Is that surprising? I don't know. I'm sure the Feds do move slow, esp. on non-terror cases now. And, while the Mayor publicly supports the probe, I'm sure the police are less than crazy about cooperating.
posted by BinGregory at 8:13 AM on August 31, 2002

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