Police Brutality and Accountability in the United States
July 1, 1998

Police brutality is one of the most serious, enduring and divisive human rights violations in the United States. Unjustified shootings by police, severe beatings, fatal chokings, and unnecessarily rough treatment of detainees occur in cities throughout the country. Human Rights Watch urges wide-ranging reforms to address police abuse, including national and local data-collection, with federal aid to police departments conditioned on compliance with reporting requirements and on improvements in oversight and discipline; stronger police and political leadership; adequate funding and political support for civilian review agencies; and special prosecutors in each state to handle criminal prosecutions of police.

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