Student debt within the United States has more than tripled to an alarming $1.2 trillion from 2004 to 2014. According to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, many student loans have gone above most other consumer debts. They have even surpassed credit cards and car loans, which has become the second biggest source of debt for the United States.
Over the last five years, the nation has become polarized on one issue in particular, excessive force and racial bias in policing. The use of excessive force by police officers is not a new phenomenon, and even the racial bias that has a massive impact on the manner in which police officers police specific areas, and the level of hostility used when engaging specific groups, is nothing new. However, the frequency in which this hostility leads to the use of deadly force has definitely intensified over the last five to seven years. Another point that has to be examined during the anatomization of the facts surrounding this topic is the disproportionate representation of black male victims of this type of violence.
The problem is that there has been very little in the way of accountability as far as police departments are concerned. Police force accountability has to be developed as part of a culture in which officers are held accountable at every level — from the patrol officer to the police chief. Unfortunately, the Blue Wall of Silence that solidifies the unspoken code that demands that no police officer offer testimony against another cop ensures that it is virtually impossible when so called, good officers have no outlet through which they can report officers who are violating the rights of citizens.
To Protect and Serve
Even the manner in which this type of police violence is reported is dependent heavily on the entity or the organization doing the reporting. According to a recent article by ABC News, during a four-year span there were 147,362 incidents of police-related violence, resulting in 6,163 formal complaints being filed. Out of those complaints only 654 were upheld by police review boards. In another study, conducted by Allison Collins for the group Human Rights Watch, it was discovered that the Justice Department receives more than 12,000 complaints of excessive force each year, and less than 50 of those result in a conviction. Collins stressed that it was more the fault of the legal system than it was the complainants.
The goal of our organization is to bring latest and most pertinent commentary on the current legislative and judiciary matter facing our nations. From Gay Rights to Immigration, there are many positions based on fact and perception that the public should have the ability to obtain deeper analysis on.
It is the responsibility of the electorate to be informed on the decision before them and before our nation. The purpose of Northwest Defenders Legal Review is to bring about greater awareness of the discussion in a more succinct and yet, deeper way.