The New World of Police Accountability is the first book to provide an original and comprehensive analysis of some of the most important developments in policing over the past ten years. Esteemed author Samuel Walker synthesizes the major developments in the area of police accountability and argues that these developments represent a new period in the history of police reform that promises to address the historic problems of police abuse. This text assesses both the achievements and limitations of police accountability and reshapes the conventional wisdom on this topic. The book covers such issues as federal law suits against the police, consent decrees, citizen oversight of the police, and early intervention systems.
Chapter Four: An Open and Accessible Citizen Complaint System
An Open and Accessible Citizen Complaint System
Citizen Complaints and the New Police Accountability
The citizen complaint process in the Oakland Police Department was almost completely dysfunctional. The court-appointed monitor's February 2004 report found systemic failures: Formal deadlines for completing phases of complaint investigations were “sparse”; even existing deadlines were frequently “not met,” with investigations “delayed or halted for reasons not related to complexity of the case”; even more seriously, officers were often not disciplined for complaints that were in fact sustained; some cases were “filed” while civil suits were pending but never reopened. The monitor concluded that “The most striking overall finding is the failure of OPD's structure as a whole to support the internal investigations process.”249
The problems in ...