DOJ review of St. Louis Co Police similar to review of Las Vegas cops

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by Ruella Rouf / KMOV.com

KMOV.com

Posted on September 4, 2014 at 11:07 PM

Updated Thursday, Sep 4 at 11:16 PM

(KMOV.com) – The investigation into the Ferguson Police Department by the Department of Justice (DOJ) is not the first one of its kind.

In 2012, DOJ underwent a similar collaborative reform process with the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department after police shot an unarmed black veteran and the community demanded answers.

According to Attorney General Eric Holder, the areas of intense investigation for St. Louis County Police will be where racial profiling, stop and searches, and frisking have taken place.

“The collaborative process is a symbiotic relationships. They help you identify your deficiencies you agree with, and if you don’t—you talk about it. It shortens the timeline associated with it,” said Holder.

In Las Vegas, the DOJ completed a 155 page report which consisted of interviews of 100 officers and community members. This included leaders of the NAACP, Urban League, and elected officials. The timeline of the investigation included months of internal and external policing operations which led to their findings and recommendations.

“You become a more professional police organization when the demographics within your organization mimics the demographics of the community that you are serving … you’re perceived as a protector rather than an occupier,” said Assistant Sheriff Joseph Lombardo of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department.

After the investigation into the Las Vegas Police Department, the DOJ found that de-escalation training for officers was not a requirement. But that changed after the investigation, and currently it is a requirement. The department also added new factors to its policy as to when deadly force is appropriate.

“Our primary concern is de-escalation, not escalation, and how we deal with it when it does occur. The success is that we haven’t seen the same reaction that occurred in Missouri as we have here,” added Lombardo.

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