Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy On Police Brutality

What happens when police are policing police?

The issue of excessive use of force and police brutality seems to be daily headlines now. Baltimore, Cleveland, Ferguson, Brooklyn, Tulsa, Detroit and other cities are faced with cases that involve black men being assaulted and in several cases, killed by police.

In some cases this is pitting communities against law enforcement agencies, and often puts the local prosecutor’s office right in the middle. What is the role of the prosecutor in these investigations? Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy speaks with Stephen about how law enforcement investigates law enforcement. Worthy made several points:

  • Checks and balances. Michigan State Police has great track record for investigations. When they’re done, our policy is to reinvestigate all of it to be certain.
  • “No Snitch” culture.  “I know the DPD Chief is committed to weeding out any corruption on the force,” says Worthy.
  • Training. The Prosecutor’s office offers training for police departments that request it.
  • Bad apples. Worthy says that as a society “we cannot and should not indict an entire profession based on the behavior of some”
  • A special task force. Worthy suggests a federal task force similar to the NTSB so that when a specific jurisdiction refuses or is unwilling to investigate its own organization, the task force steps in.