When we see violence involving police, we long for justice. When police are targeted at the receiving end of violent encounters, we hope the attackers are punished to the full extent of the law.
Because of the nature of policing, it is important that officers are held accountable when they are the ones inflicting unnecessary violence.
What is happening — if anything — to make sure bad officers are kept off the street?
According to a new investigative report by the Detroit Free Press, it turns out the system in Michigan actually works to keep bad police officers on the streets.
According to Schaefer, police departments weren’t forthcoming with information regarding police officers that had been suspended or fired.
“You cannot just walk into a police station and say, ‘Give me all the disciplinary records you have on police officers,’” he says. “The city of Detroit wouldn’t even give us names of any fired police officers until we really pressed them on it.”
It is also difficult to quantify bad policing because “there’s virtually no way to determine how many officers like this are on the street right now,” says Kaufman. “Nobody keeps track.”
Click on the audio player above for the full conversation.