This brief provides a macro level analysis of the data collected using Kira Machine Learning Contract Data Extraction and manual reviews of contracts of 3,502 CBAs analyzed by staff and volunteers of Campaign Zero.
The report ends with a case study of how the Austin Justice Coalition (AJC), with support from CZ staff and resources, organized and successfully reinvented the Austin Police Department’s CBA in 2017 which paved the way for continued reinvention in the aftermath of the tragic killing of George Floyd. Coalition building, political environment, and continued organizing were some of the key contributors in their success.
Law enforcement agencies across the US have struggled to hold their officers accountable for misconduct. Scholars and accountability experts have cited that the lack of accountability promotes cultures of violence (Nagin, 2013). Two mechanisms associated with law enforcement unionism that many scholars have cited as impediments to accountability are law enforcement collective bargaining agreements (CBAs) and Law Enforcement Officer Bill of Rights (LEOBORs) (Keenan and Walker, 2005; Rushin, 2017; Harris and Sweeney, 2021).
Of the 2518 rank-and-file CBAs stored and coded in the database, 962 are active (not expired). The descriptive analysis in this research brief produced the following findings around CBAs:
- Disqualifies Complaints: 176
- Restricts or Delays Interrogations: 263
- Gives officers unfair access to information: 269
- Limits Discipline or Oversight: 781
- Pays for Misconduct or Expands Police Budgeting: 835
- Erases Misconduct History: 304