The Slatest

Justice Department Announces Sweeping Newark Police Reforms to Correct Unconstitutional Practices

A man walks by a police car in downtown on May 13, 2014 in Newark, New Jersey.  

Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images

After a three-year investigation into the policing of Newark, New Jersey, the Justice Department announced Wednesday a series of sweeping reforms aimed at stopping unconstitutional police practices in the city. The DOJ investigation found that the Newark Police Department routinely made unconstitutional stops, searches, and arrests, and employed excessive force, even theft. The federal review was triggered by complaints lodged by the ACLU about policing in the city; the DOJ found that police targeted minorities when making stops and a whopping 75 percent of pedestrian stops were considered unjustified.

“The proposed reforms, which must be approved by a judge, include having officers wear cameras and installing them in police vehicles, increasing training, and tightening department policies on use of force and search-and-seizure practices,” according to the New York Times. “The agreement also calls for installing a monitor to oversee the settlement, and creating a civilian oversight committee, which the city, New Jersey’s largest, has already taken steps to do.”

The Justice Department has launched similar civil rights investigations into policing practices in Ferguson and, more recently, in Chicago.