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Police Accountability is Vital to our Democracy –Civil Lawsuits may be One Answer but Voting is the Key

In American unlike many countries the Police have a proud a tradition they are here “To Serve and To Protect “ whereas in many countries there function is to suppress dissent. Sadly in many inner city communities the police are viewed more as more of an occupying force. There is too much distrust between the police and the inner community which more than any other place in America needs a police which will “Serve and Protect”

There are bad actors in every field and we make a mistake because we want to support the police for risking their lives to protect us to give special protection for police misconduct. No group whether they are doctors lawyers or police officers are above the law. This is especially true because when there is police misconduct the consequences are widespread- people die and communities are shattered.

The question then becomes what are the best checks on police misconduct. Criminal prosecution have been tried but almost without exception they have failed . Civil lawsuit in contrast have been relatively successful. Money talks and the threat of large judgments more often than not will force police forces to institute long overdue policy changes in the use of force and improved training.

These lawsuits also bring pubic attention to various shortcomings and may engender more political involvement . Sadly voter participation in inner cities is far below what it is in the suburbs. The police report to elected officials and the elected officials report to the voters. The best way to insure that the victims of police misconduct did not die in vain is to vote.

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A Message to Our Clients

Since our founding, Jacobs & Crumplar has represented those injured physically, mentally, and emotionally by companies and the government. We are deeply troubled by the senseless killing of George Floyd and the injustice shown to countless others over the years. Consistent with our tradition, Jacobs & Crumplar stands in solidarity with all those working to eliminate systemic racism and with those who have been victimized by prejudice. Building a better society requires us all to play an active role.