The Prosecutor’s Role in Addressing Officer-Involved Fatalities

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Given the persistence of and the lack of accountability for these tragedies, how can prosecutors prevent and address officer-involved fatalities?

The Toolkit

The IIP's Toolkit on Officer-Involved Fatalities and Critical Incidents addresses this question with concrete action that prosecutors can take and communities can advocate for in order to reduce use-of-force, and to provide a path to accountability for unjustified force.

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The Working Group

The Toolkit was created for prosecutors and communities, by prosecutors and communities. It was informed by a year-long Working Group comprised of 50 experts from across the country - those who lost loved ones to police violence; prosecutors; and law enforcement experts.

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Dialogue

The Working Group provided a platform for directly impacted family members, prosecutors, and police chiefs to share their stories, learn from each other’s experiences, and work together to build a more just system. Some of these stories are uplifted in IIP’s Executive Session paper, Prosecutors and Officer-Involved Fatalities.

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Action

Working Group members collaborated over the course of a year to translate dialogue into action. Members have used the Toolkit’s recommendations in their offices and local DA races, and have presented the Toolkit’s recommendations to a statewide working group in Minnesota and at a Congressional Black Caucus hearing.

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Learn More

  • The IIP launched the Toolkit in partnership with family members, prosecutors, and law enforcement experts in February 2019.

  • Victoria Davis, the sister of Delrawn Small and a member of the Justice Committee, outlines her goals for the Toolkit.

  • The human narratives underpinning the Toolkit were uplifted in an Executive Session paper, authored by Roy L. Austin, Jr., Valerie Bell, and John Choi, with a foreword from Chief of Police J. Scott Thomson and interviews by Allison Goldberg.

  • Members of the IIP’s Working Group were invited to testify at Congressional Black Caucus hearing on police use-of-force in May 2019, and at a statewide hearing in Minnesota in August 2019.

  • “Would You Trust the Police Officer Who Writes ‘It’s a Good Day for a Chokehold’?” ask Chiraag Bains and Kyle C. Barry in a July 2019 New York Times op-ed that cites the Toolkit as a resource for prosecutors and communities.

  • Interested in adopting the Toolkit? Write to us at IIP_JohnJay@prosecution.org

  • What does a family-prosecutor partnership look like? Watch Valerie Castile and John Choi discuss why they joined the working group, below, and read more about their partnership here.

A Road Map for Prosecutors and Communities

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Working Group Members Leading the Field

Valerie Castile continues her son’s legacy as a school food services worker, as she stands with Rep. Ilhan Omar to support legislation to cover students’ lunch expenses,  reports the  Start Tribune  , June 2019

Valerie Castile continues her son’s legacy as a school food services worker, as she stands with Rep. Ilhan Omar to support legislation to cover students’ lunch expenses, reports the Start Tribune, June 2019

How will you ensure accountability for unjustified force if elected DA? Natasha Duncan, Gwen Carr, Victoria Davis, and Valerie Bell organize their communities to ask questions of local DA candidates, May 2019

How will you ensure accountability for unjustified force if elected DA? Natasha Duncan, Gwen Carr, Victoria Davis, and Valerie Bell organize their communities to ask questions of local DA candidates, May 2019

Wanda Johnson, Commonwealth’s Attorney Stephanie Morales, Allison Goldberg, and Ron Davis discuss the Working Group’s recommendations with members of the Congressional Black Caucus, May 2019

Wanda Johnson, Commonwealth’s Attorney Stephanie Morales, Allison Goldberg, and Ron Davis discuss the Working Group’s recommendations with members of the Congressional Black Caucus, May 2019

What Should We Expect from the Police? Ron Davis and Ed Chung discuss with Josie Duffy Rice and Phil Goff at South by Southwest, March 2019

What Should We Expect from the Police? Ron Davis and Ed Chung discuss with Josie Duffy Rice and Phil Goff at South by Southwest, March 2019