Despite the landmark 2013 decision by a federal judge in New York condemning the New York Police Department’s misuse of stop-and-frisk, it remains a popular tactic for surveillance and control in cities of all sizes. The policies and actions of the police are instrumental in deciding who gets stopped, searched, arrested, and funneled into the criminal justice system; indeed, the United States’ overincarceration crisis begins at the front end of the system. Meanwhile, often under the guise of our failed drug war, abuse of civil asset forfeiture is rampant, while federal grant programs enable the increasing militarization of local police departments. 

CLRP relies on various strategies to challenge a broad range of unjust police practices. In some instances, we work with law enforcement to develop reforms at the departmental level, using data on deployment, stop, search, and arrest disparities to press for change. We also pursue litigation against departments enforcing unconstitutional and counterproductive policies and tactics that harm the communities the police are responsible for protecting. Ultimately, our efforts are intended to address the longstanding adversarial relationship between police and communities and to help create police departments that work collaboratively and democratically with all of the communities they serve, increasing transparency, accountability, fairness, and public safety.

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