Police union contracts and statewide Law Enforcement Officer’s Bill of Rights laws have created a system of protections for police officers that amount to an alternate justice system, creating significant legal and structural barriers to accountability, transparency, and fairness. Of at least 4,024 people killed by police since 2013, only 85 of these cases have led to an officer being charged with a crime. Only 6 cases have led to convictions – fewer than 0.2% of known police killings. Data from some of America’s largest police departments show that officers who commit misconduct rarely face administrative consequences, either.1 It is not surprising that police officers are rarely, if ever, held responsible for their behavior, as the combination of provisions in police union contracts and Law Enforcement Officer’s Bill of Rights constitute de facto immunity from liability.
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