Impact of the Law Enforcement Officers’ Bill of Rights on Police Transparency & Accountability
Richard DeShay Elliott. Impact of the Law Enforcement Officers’ Bill of Rights on Police Transparency & Accountability. Southern Political Science Association 2021. Accepted October 20, 2020.
17 Pages Posted: 19 Nov 2020
Date Written: September 1, 2020
The United States, home to 5% of the world’s population & 25% of the world’s incarcerated population, is the largest hotspot of mass incarceration in human history. Many factors have contributed to rising incarceration rates over the past 50 years, including the War on Drugs and the 1994 crime bill. One piece of legislation with impact on policing in the United States is the Law Enforcement Officer’s Bill of Rights (LEOBOR), which serves to minimize accountability and transparency within police departments by granting rights to police officers that aren't granted to other public or private employees, such as interdepartmental investigations and classified personnel files. LEOBOR is state policy in the states where Freddie Gray (Maryland), Sandra Bland (Texas), Breonna Taylor (Kentucky), & George Floyd (Minnesota) were murdered by police and where Rodney King (California) was beaten on tape, and this legislation has a substantial impact on police investigations and discipline. There has been very little academic study on this legislation and its impact.
In this study, I seek to examine the difference in rates of incarceration, police spending, police salaries, on-duty shooting of civilians, the number of officers who have been charged for an on-duty shooting, and the number of decertified officers between states with and without LEOBOR in effect. These statistics will give a detailed comparison of accountability and transparency in states that do and do not have LEOBOR in effect.
Keywords: American policing, policing, police reform, police accountability, police transparency, police brutality, Law Enforcement Officer Bill of Rights, police union, civilian review board, Joe Biden, Mario Biaggi, LEOBOR
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