Restoring Community Dignity Following Police Misconduct

31 Pages Posted: 1 Sep 2015

Date Written: 2015


Several highly publicized encounters between police officers and African Americans have exposed patterns of police-initiated violence and, often, deeply racist law enforcement. With each new encounter, citizens and politicians are left wondering how to heal the rifts between minority groups on the one hand, and local communities and law enforcement on the other hand. The two most common solutions involve awarding large sums to the victims or their families via the tort system, or having the Department of Justice launch one of its rare investigations into local police practices. Neither of these solutions recognizes that racially motivated police brutality fundamentally harms the dignity of targeted individuals and groups. I draw on existing American and international practices of community involvement and dignity restoration to offer new remedies that recognize the growing legal salience of “dignity” and which can better redress harms caused by police misconduct.

Keywords: police, African American, violence, racist, racism, law enforcement, Department of Justice, dignity, community, police brutality, dignity restoration, police misconduct, dignity

Suggested Citation

Acevedo, John, Restoring Community Dignity Following Police Misconduct (2015). Howard Law Journal, Forthcoming, Available at SSRN:

John Acevedo (Contact Author)

Alabama Law ( email )

P.O. Box 870382
Tuscaloosa, AL 35487
United States

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