Officers avoid criminal charges and official discipline

Minnesota residents have watched with their counterparts around the country as case after case of police misconduct comes to light. It can be understanding for people to begin to wonder just what can be done to keep people safe from those who are supposedly tasked with doing so. Whether a matter of race, economics or other factors, unfair and even deadly treatment of people by police is an ongoing problem.

One of these cases that is close to home involves the shooting death of a 24-year-old black man by an officer last year. Three different groups have failed to hold the two officers involved accountable for the young man's death. First, the Hennepin County Attorney refused to file criminal charges after its initial investigation. Then the United States Department of Justice refused to support the notion that the man's civil rights had been violated.

Most recently, the Minneapolis Police Chief has indicated that neither officer will be professionally or formally disciplined by the police department. All in all, the officers' actions are being fully supported by the law and the judicial system, leaving many to wonder what that means for the future of police treatment and citizen rights. Local civil rights advocates are concerned indeed especially for people of color.

Anyone who believes that they or someone they know have been unfairly treated by a member of law enforcement might want to talk with a lawyer. Understanding what can be declared as police brutality may be helpful in these situations.

Source: MPR News, "Mpls. police: Internal probe clears cops in Jamar Clark shooting," Oct. 21, 2016

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