Above the Law. Police and the Excessive Use of Force by Jerome H Skolnick

By Jerome H Skolnick

The now-famous videotape of the thrashing of Rodney King caused a countrywide outcry opposed to police violence. Skolnick and Fyfe, of the nation's most sensible specialists on legislations enforcement, use the incident to introduce a revealing historic research of such violence and the level of its survival in legislation enforcement this present day.

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When the driver has passengers, as Rodney King had, he is thought to be even more dangerous. Such a driver, when captured, is rarely treated with consideration. He may be pushed, shoved, verbally assaulted, and tightly cuffed. By now, however, police have learned from both experience and scholarly studies that most motorists who flee from them are not, in fact, threatening offenders. Instead, like King, fleeing motorists typically are troubled young men with bad driving records whose ability to reason has been altered by drugs or alcohol.

He told Paul that an investigation was ongoing, and that Rodney was in “big trouble,” since he had been caught in a high-speed chase and had put someone’s life in danger, possibly a police officer’s. The sergeant told Paul King to try to find the video, but at no time did the sergeant fill out a personnel complaint form. ” Holliday was busy on Sunday, the day he videotaped the beating. As he had planned, he took his videocam to the LA marathon, then to a wedding. On Monday, March 4, he telephoned the Foothill station, intending to offer his videotape to the police.

Fyfe’s colleagues and associates from the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, especially Sylvester Daughtry, John Duffy, Steve Harris, Dana Mitchell, Charles Plummer, and Charles Reynolds, have been excellent sounding boards. Even more pleasant was the discovery that the civil rights bar across the nation, with whom Fyfe worked as an expert witness, included dozens of capable, ethical, even courageous attorneys who have made a genuine difference in policing and the law governing police.

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