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Former police chief calls for reforms to end police brutality

Four years ago, the questionable shooting death of an unarmed African-American set off a fire storm of protests that caught the attention of the entire nation. Since that infamous event, there have been multiple reports of similar incidents that have led to increased distrust of police departments across the country. This is not an isolated problem, as there have been reports of Arizona residents also suffering harm as a result of alleged police brutality.

Recently, one former police chief shared his ideas that could help reform the nation's police departments and possibly reduce the problem. This former official believes that one of the first steps is to make it less complicated to fire officers who have a record of insubordination or credible accounts of abuse of power. One of the reasons that police departments are unable to fire inferior officers is due to police union contracts.

This chief believes that, if contracts were structured in a way that mirrored the public good rather than protecting the rights of substandard officers, it may be possible to restore the trust of the public. As an example, the official cited the cases of two officers who violated standard operating procedures or provided false information on an application that subsequently led to the deaths of two individuals. It has been proposed that police departments be authorized to write their own policies and procedures that would enable superiors to terminate officers who have a history of violating departmental polices and standards.

It has been further suggested that potential officers be required to undergo more complete background checks, including previous employment with other law enforcement agencies. In the meantime, there will likely continue to be reports of police brutality that will erode public trust, especially among certain segments of the population. Arizona residents who have suffered harm as a result of the overreach of police are entitled to seek justice and compensation through the civil courts.

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