Today, Cato is launching a new web site, PoliceMisconduct.net, which is one component of our new National Police Misconduct Reporting Project. We will be tracking news stories concerning misconduct so policymakers can make more informed assessments of its nature and circumstances. Our objective is to identify policies that consistently uphold high standards of ethics, honesty, and professionalism from police officers and critique the policies that do not.
Here is a recent item from Denver, Colorado: Alexander Landau was brutally beaten after a routine traffic stop. The City Council this month unanimously agreed to pay him $795,000 to settle his brutality lawsuit. What happened to Landau was awful, but even more disturbing from the news report is that the Internal Affairs Unit declined to begin a formal investigation after the incident, let alone a rigorous one. And note that two of the three officers involved in the Landau case were recently fired for lying on reports concerning other violent incidents!
Just the latest example of why a police misconduct tracker is needed. Related item here.