Report Finds Police Fail to Post Complaint Forms and Procedures Online, In Violation of the Law

Posted: Oct, 31, 2007

Almost half of the police departments in the state that are required to post online their police complaint forms and procedures have failed to do so, according to a report released today by the Rhode Island ACLU. The requirement, contained in the Racial Profiling Prevention Act of 2004, was designed to make it easier for victims of police misconduct to file complaints with departments.

Among other findings, the report discloses that:

The ACLU expressed confidence that the report would prompt departments to review their websites to comply with the statute, but noted the inherent limits to the value of internal police complaint procedures, since only a very small percentage of people who believe they are the victims of police misconduct bother to file complaints with departments’ internal affairs divisions. Nonetheless, the ACLU report called the results of the study “especially troubling” in light of “the faith that some police departments unrealistically place on their complaint process as a representation of the number of people who have had inappropriate experiences with their officers.”