Committee on Policing Reforms

Events across the country have led to national discussions regarding the use of military equipment and tactics by state and local law enforcement. In truth, this debate has been ongoing for some time. Although focus in the past has been on the use of Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) teams by law enforcement, additional questions have arisen with the use of military-grade equipment during political protests. Federal programs, such as the Department of Defense’s 1033 program, have made military-grade equipment available to local law enforcement. In 2013 alone, according to the Defense Logistics Agency, the 1033 program gave $450 million worth of equipment to local law enforcement.

At the same time, the implementation of body-worn cameras is gaining increased attention and use among law enforcement professionals, who use them for functions such as obtaining evidence, promoting officer safety, and improving law enforcement community relations, and enhancing accountability. Importantly, the use of body-worn cameras by law enforcement personnel presents novel legal and policy questions. Proponents of body-worn cameras suggest that cameras can protect due process and equal protection values while promoting police accountability.  However, new surveillance technology and recording devices implicate privacy, First Amendment, and other constitutional concerns as well. Agencies must carefully tailor body-worn camera programs to retain the benefits of such use while limiting any infringement on rights.

In order to identify and address the constitutional, legal, and policy concerns implicated in these trends in American policing, TCP has convened a Committee on Policing Reforms, comprising over thirty former and current law enforcement and military personnel, community members, legal scholars, and former judges, prosecutors, and defense attorneys.  This Committee is examining each of these developments and over the next several months, will issue policy briefs and recommendations to guide our national, state and local policymakers – and law enforcement agencies themselves – as they determine if and how to use these new forms of technology in policing.

Co-Chairs

Kami Chavis
Professor of Law and Director of the Criminal Justice Program, Wake Forest University School of Law

James Trainum
Criminal Case Review & Consulting; Detective, Metropolitan Police Department of DC, 1983-2010

Jeffrey Vagle
Lecturer in Law and Executive Director, Center for Technology, Innovation and Competition, University of Pennsylvania Law School; Affiliate Scholar, Stanford Law School Center for Internet and Society

Members

Stephen E. Abraham (LTC, USAR (Ret))
Attorney, private practice; Lieutenant Colonel, Military Intelligence, United States Army Reserve (Ret)

Azizah al-Hibri
Professor Emerita, The T.C. Williams School of Law, University of Richmond; Founder and Member, Board of Directors, KARAMAH: Muslim Women Lawyers for Human Rights

David E. Birenbaum
Of Counsel, Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP; Senior Scholar, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, 2003-2010; US Ambassador to the UN for UN Management and Reform, 1994-1996; Assistant General Counsel to the National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders, 1968

Cheye M. Calvo
Chief Growth and Community Engagement Officer with Rocketship Education; Mayor, Berwyn Heights, MD, 2004-2015

Catherine Crump
Assistant Clinical Professor, Berkeley Law School; Associate Director, Samuelson Law, Technology & Public Policy Clinic

Sharon L. Davies
Gregory H. Williams Chair in Civil Rights and Civil Liberties and Director of the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity, The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law

Monique Dixon
Deputy Director of Policy and Senior Counsel, NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund

Richard A. Epstein
The Laurence A. Tisch Professor of Law, New York University School of Law, The Peter and Kirsten Senior Fellow, The Hoover institution, and the James Parker Hall Distinguished Service Professor of Law (Emeritus) and Senior Lecturer, The University of Chicago School of Law

Michael German
Special Agent, Federal Bureau of Investigation, 1988-2004

Philip M. Giraldi
Contributing Editor for The American Conservative Magazine, antiwar.com, and Campaign for Liberty; Fellow, American Conservative Defense Alliance; former operations officer specializing in counter-terrorism, Central Intelligence Agency, 1975-1992; United States Army Intelligence

David A. Harris
Distinguished Faculty Scholar and Professor of Law, University of Pittsburgh School of Law

Kendra R. Howard
President, Mound City Bar Association, St. Louis, MO

Peter B. Kraska
Professor and Chair, School of Justice Studies, Eastern Kentucky University

Major General William L. Nash (U.S. Army, Retired)
Visiting Lecturer in Public Affairs, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University

Grover G. Norquist
President, Americans for Tax Reform

L. Song Richardson
Professor of Law, University of California, Irvine School of Law

William S. Sessions
Holland & Knight, LLP; former Director, Federal Bureau of Investigation; former Chief Judge, United States District Court for the Western District of Texas

Harry Shorstein
Shorstein & Lasnetski, LLC; Former State Attorney for the 4th Judicial Circuit of Florida

Neal R. Sonnett
Member, ABA Board of Governors, 2009-2012; Chair, ABA Section of Criminal Justice, 1993, and ABA Section of Individual Rights and Responsibilities, 2008-2009; President, American Judicature Society, 2006-2007; President, National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, 1989-1990; Assistant United States Attorney and Chief, Criminal Division, Southern District of Florida, 1967-1972

Norm Stamper
Chief, Seattle Police Department, 1994-2000; Executive Assistant Chief of Police, San Diego Police Department, 1966-1994

Geoffrey R. Stone
Harry Kalven, Jr., Distinguished Service Professor of Law, University of Chicago

Colby C. VokeyLtCol USMC (Ret.)
Attorney, Law Firm of Colby Vokey PC; U.S. Marine Corps., 1987-2008; Lieutenant Colonel; Lead Counsel for Guantanamo detainee Omar Khadr at Military Commissions, 2005-2007

John W. Whitehead

President and Founder, The Rutherford Institute; constitutional attorney; author of “Battlefield America: The War on the American People,” the follow-up to his award-winning 2013 book, “A Government of Wolves: The Emerging American Police State.”

Lawrence B. Wilkerson, Col., USA (Ret)
Distinguished Visiting Professor of Government and Public Policy at the College of William and Mary; former Chief of Staff to Secretary of State Colin Powell and special assistant to chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Colin Powell

Hubert Williams
Past President, Police Foundation; former New Jersey Police Director; former Special Advisor to the Los Angeles Police Commission

Michael A. Wolff
Dean and Professor of Law, Saint Louis University School of Law; former Judge and Chief Justice of Supreme Court of Missouri

Former Members

Jamie Raskin
Professor of Law, American University Washington College of Law; Maryland State Senator and Senate Majority Whip

John K. Van de Kamp
Counsel, Mayer Brown LLP; Former California Attorney General, 1983-1991; Former Los Angeles County District Attorney, 1975-1983; Federal Public Defender, Los Angeles, 1971-1975

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