What I learned today that I never knew before: the Detroit Police Department was investigated by U.S. Department of Justice in 2001 and eventually put under federal oversight for making warrantless arrests without probable cause, arresting and jailing witnesses, family and friends of suspects without authority, refusing medical attention to those in custody (19 deaths of detainees between 1992-2001 were investigated by DOJ), and suspiciously frequent police shootings (Detroit's rate was double that of New York City). The Free Press published a series of 13 investigative articles from 5/00-12/00 about DPD shootings and coverups, ultimately leading to the DOJ investigation. It was not as easy to find these articles as it should have been, because Detroit papers are woefully woefully archived. But, Michigan Electronic Library to the rescue, it was just extra annoying, not impossible. Your tax dollars at work.
Archer commissioned a private consultant in 1997 to recommend reforms, and the report (which said things like use computers and stop hiring teens with GEDs) was...shelved. Reform is too expensive, Archer said. Detroit spent $124 million on police lawsuits between 1987-2000.
Two other interesting bits: the police chief during this scandal...is running for mayor. And, the federal overseer initially appointed to monitor DPD's compliance with DOJ...was involved in an affair with Kwame Kilpatrick and suspicious expense reports.
U.S. PLANS PROBE OF DETROIT POLICE SHOOTINGS, ALLEGED MISCONDUCT WILL BE FOCUS OF INVESTIGATIONS
The Report Of The Independent Monitor Of The Detroit Police From 2004
Suspects dead by neglect In the lockups, Detroit police ignored illness
WATCHDOGS DECLINE TO WATCH COPS PANEL HAS SHIED FROM BIG ISSUES LIKE BRUTALITY
Free Press Editorial
Free Press letters to the Editor
July 2013 status for DPD: 91% compliant