Darren Wilson and Michael Brown became household names in 2014 when Officer Wilson shot and killed Brown, who was unarmed, during an altercation that occurred in Ferguson, Missouri. The shooting sparked much controversy and debate about what constitutes justifiable use of force by police.
According to Mother Jones, no agency or database tracks the number of police shootings or killings of unarmed persons in a systematic, comprehensive way. This Washington Post article notes that the Justice Department allows the nation's law enforcement agencies to "self-report officer-involved shootings as part of the FBI's annual data on 'justifiable homicides' by law enforcement."
Are you interested in researching this controversial topic? HeinOnline contains more than 2,100 law and law-related periodicals, all dating back to inception, with the vast majority available through the current issue or volume. Core subscribers also enjoy free access to both federal and state case law through HeinOnline's partnership with Fastcase. Running a search for "officer involved shootings" OR "officer involved shooting" returns these results:
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Proposed solutions to this American epidemic include making it routine policy for police officers to wear body cameras, but the cost of the cameras is somewhat prohibitive and the practice isn't without its own controversy. According to this article from the Detroit Free Press, "Body cameras have the potential to serve as a check on people in power and protect police against false accusations" but "the challenge for body worn cameras is the potential to invade privacy." Search in HeinOnline for information on police body cameras using a proximity search, such as "police body cameras"~5 OR "police body camera"~5. View and sort search results here. Save, sort, and send search results to colleagues using MyHein, a personal research and bookmarking tool available to anyone with access to HeinOnline:
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