DC Officers Go Too Far With Brutal Force/Post article URL FWD

Tom Boland (wgcp@earthlink.net)
Mon, 23 Nov 1998 00:17:21 -0400


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http://washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/WPlate/1998-11/19/162l-111998-idx.html
FWD  Washington Post - November 19, 1998; Page A01

OFFICERS GO TOO FAR:
CONFRONTATIONS LED TO
BATINGS, COMPLAINTS, LAWSUITS

By Sari Horwitz
Washington Post Staff Writer

[Last of five articles]

During a decade when fatal shootings by D.C. police rose to the highest
levels in the nation, hundreds of city residents took legal action to
charge officers with brutal force that stopped short of gunfire.

The allegations detailed in more than 750 civil lawsuits filed since 1990
sound common themes: short-fused officers who either provoked
confrontations or allowed routine encounters to escalate; men and women,
young and old, black and white, Hispanic and Asian, jailed on flimsy
charges that were promptly dropped; hostility between officers and
residents that touched every geographic quadrant and socioeconomic level --
from Georgetown to Anacostia, from Spring Valley to Shaw -- and sometimes
involved brutal beatings with fists, nightsticks or blackjacks.

Like police shootings, brutality allegations have cost the District. The
city paid settlements and judgments in more than 300 civil cases -- nearly
half of the lawsuits filed in the 1990s -- for an average cost of $1
million a year, a review of court documents by The Washington Post showed.
Corporation Counsel John M. Ferren, whose office handles civil litigation
against the police, said settling a case is a "business decision" that
takes into account the city's probability of winning in court.

Lapses in training and supervision frequently are at the root of both
excessive-force and questionable shooting incidents, according to
criminologists and police officials....

[ For the full story, go to:
http://washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/WPlate/1998-11/19/162l-111998-idx.html ]

END FORWARD
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http://washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/WPlate/1998-11/19/162l-111998-idx.html

FWD  Washington Post - November 19, 1998; Page A01


<paraindent><param>right,left</param>OFFICERS GO TOO FAR:

CONFRONTATIONS LED TO

BATINGS, COMPLAINTS, LAWSUITS


By Sari Horwitz

Washington Post Staff Writer 


[Last of five articles]

</paraindent>

During a decade when fatal shootings by D.C. police rose to the highest
levels in the nation, hundreds of city residents took legal action to
charge officers with brutal force that stopped short of gunfire.


The allegations detailed in more than 750 civil lawsuits filed since
1990 sound common themes: short-fused officers who either provoked
confrontations or allowed routine encounters to escalate; men and
women, young and old, black and white, Hispanic and Asian, jailed on
flimsy charges that were promptly dropped; hostility between officers
and residents that touched every geographic quadrant and socioeconomic
level -- from Georgetown to Anacostia, from Spring Valley to Shaw --
and sometimes involved brutal beatings with fists, nightsticks or
blackjacks.


Like police shootings, brutality allegations have cost the District.
The city paid settlements and judgments in more than 300 civil cases --
nearly half of the lawsuits filed in the 1990s -- for an average cost
of $1 million a year, a review of court documents by The Washington
Post showed. Corporation Counsel John M. Ferren, whose office handles
civil litigation against the police, said settling a case is a
"business decision" that takes into account the city's probability of
winning in court.


Lapses in training and supervision frequently are at the root of both
excessive-force and questionable shooting incidents, according to
criminologists and police officials....


[ For the full story, go to:
http://washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/WPlate/1998-11/19/162l-111998-idx.html
]


END FORWARD

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** NOTICE: In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. **


HOMELESS PEOPLE'S NETWORK  <<http://aspin.asu.edu/hpn/>  Home Page

ARCHIVES  <<http://aspin.asu.edu/hpn/archives.html>  read posts to HPN

TO JOIN  <<http://aspin.asu.edu/hpn/join.html> or email Tom <<wgcp@earthlink.net>

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