Curbing Excessive Force: A Primer on Barriers to Police Accountability

Author(s): 
Kami N. Chavis, Conor Degnan
Publication Date: 
April 18, 2017

Despite increased public scrutiny, police are rarely held accountable for excessive use of force, according to the authors of “Curbing Excessive Force: A Primer on Barriers to Police Accountability.” Kami Chavis, professor of law and director of the Criminal Justice Program at Wake Forest University School of Law, along with Conor Degnan, contend that when police officers are accused of using excessive force, they are afforded a multitude of unique protections that effectively shield them from both criminal and civil liability. Chavis and Degnan argue that reforms to increase accountability, including greater prosecutorial independence and civilian oversight, are necessary to repair and rebuild the lost trust between police officers and the communities—particularly communities of color—they serve.