Policies are changing for Newark police officers as a result of the federal monitoring that was instituted after the Justice Department found significant constitutional violations by the city’s police department, a forum on the monitoring team’s progress was told.
Police officers in Newark will have to give comprehensive reports if they use force in the course of their duties. “For the first time we will require that officers that use force and officers that witness the use of force complete reports and also notify a supervisor,” said Sgt. Miguel Aviles. “What’s new and what we are also going to do is also require the officers to report the unholstering, exhibiting, or pointing of a firearm in the presence of the public.”
“That’s an important accomplishment,” said Wayne Fisher, executive director of the Rutgers Policing Institute. Fisher, a member of the monitoring team, said key to the team’s work is the development of transparency and accountability.
Dawn Haynes of the Newark Anti-Violence Coalition said holding officers who witness force accountable for reporting it is a significant development. “I think that that is pivotal in what we’re dealing with because we hear not all cops are bad. Well, where are the good cops when the bad cops are being bad? And I think that this is a level of accountability that is definitely needed,” Haynes said.
“This is a moment 50 years in the making … going back to the Newark Rebellion,” Ryan Haygood, president and CEO of the NJ Institute for Social Justice said. He added, “And I think Newark has an opportunity to serve as an example of what policing should look like in this country.”
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