WGBH 06-01-17

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Even After Controversial Police Killings, States Still Lack Youth-Police Policy Standards

Even after questionable killings of young black men in Cleveland, Ohio, Ferguson, Mo. and most recently, Houston, Texas, states have done little to establish uniform standards of conduct guiding police interaction with youth. That’s according to a new national report that was released this week by Cambridge-based Strategies for Youth. States lacking standards include Massachusetts.

The release of the report titled “Where Is The State? Creating and Implementing State Standards for Law Enforcement Interactions With Youth” comes the same week that the city of Cleveland announced the firing of Timothy Loehmann, the police officer who shot and killed 12-year-old Tamir Rice in November 2014. But his firing was the result of failing to disclose information on his application for the job, not the killing of an African-American boy who was playing with a toy gun. Strategies for Youth recommends that states require law enforcement to track racial and ethnic disparities in their encounters with young people to reduce possibilities for bias.

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