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Georgia Police Chief: We're Gonna Stop Shooting So Many People

Submitted by smorgan on
DeKalb County Georgia, which borders Atlanta, endured 12 fatal police shootings last year. Now their new Police Chief Terrell Bolton is promising to do something. From Daily Report:

Bolton, who was hired last month, said his department has nothing to hide, and that the new initiative is meant to encourage transparency and make citizens feel more comfortable.

GBI and DEA agents will respond to police-involved shootings as they happen, working as monitors and reporting inappropriate behavior to DeKalb superior officers.

It's exciting to see police getting serious about not shooting citizens. The initiative includes improved training procedures, but there's a clear emphasis on standardizing the response when a shooting occurs. No doubt, this is a reaction to the Kathryn Johnston fiasco in nearby Atlanta, where officers attempted a cover-up after shooting an innocent suspect.

Radley Balko's research demonstrates the importance of adequately investigating police shootings, which so rarely result in criminal charges even when obvious injustices occur. I'm not sure the DEA are the right people to investigate this, but anything that distracts them from their other duties is a big win for public safety in itself.

Still, there's only so much that training and accountability can do to prevent drug war violence. So long as police conduct no-knock raids on the homes of non-violent suspects, warrants are issued based on the testimony of criminal informants in exchange for compensation, police enter the wrong homes with alarming frequency, and innocent people reach for weapons when their doors are kicked in unexpectedly, the killings will continue.

If these public officials are serious about preventing unnecessary police shootings, it's time to discuss the unnecessary war that demands them.

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