- Ilya Shapiro, Cato Institute
Criminal justice and policing reform are much in the news lately, sparked by events that garner national media coverage. This panel will assess the need for reform, and the road forward. How do media narratives about policing square with the empirical evidence? What are the most effective methods of policing, and how can they best be promoted? What is the proper way to balance police activity and the crime rate? In the current atmosphere, is legitimate police activity chilled? Must law enforcement officers responding to calls pause to consider their potential personal liability?
Civil Rights: Ferguson, Baltimore, and Criminal Justice Reform
12:00 noon – 2:15 p.m.
The Mayflower Hotel
Is it within a federal court's authority to order local police officers to wear video cameras in an effort to create an "objective record" of police activity, as occurred last summer in New York City? What is the basis and is it advisable for the Department of Justice to impose reforms on local police activity via consent decrees or other means (see here and here)? What should we make of lawsuits, such as the one filed by police officers rejecting such oversight in Seattle? Are they attempts to vindicate the sovereignty of their own policing, or do they gloss over the serious problems in law enforcement that would go otherwise unchecked without federal involvement? Our experts answered these and other questions.
Prof. Orin Kerr previews the upcoming Supreme Court case, Heien v. North Carolina, that looks at whether a traffic stop based on a police officer’s mistaken understanding of the traffic laws violate the Fourth Amendment.