States, cities lead on police reform given federal government's limited reach

April 19, 2021

By Leandra Bernstein

From the article: "... 'In the United States, ultimate decision-making about public safety often rests at the local level — often under the radar," Phillip Atiba Goff, a professor of African American studies and psychology at Yale University, wrote in The Washington Post. "While federal and state actors play an important role, local efforts will ultimately determine whether we emerge with a more equitable paradigm or repeat the cycle of 'hand-wringing, inaction and forgetting' that has followed racial violence for generations.'

The federal government's ability to influence policing is largely limited to Congress withholding or dispersing law enforcement grants and the Justice Department negotiating consent decrees based on investigations into civil rights abuses and other unconstitutional patterns and practices by police agencies..."

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