Police Accountability in Post-9/11 America

Joseph A. Schafer, Southern Illinois Univ. at Carbondale

The terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, have resulted in the passage of several important pieces of federal legislation, have broadened our country's focus on national security, and have caused a shift in law enforcement expenditures and priorities. Many important decisions were made with limited information, abbreviated discussion, and little review; some aspects of these decisions are of questionable legality and prudence. This paper will consider changes in American policing (at the federal, state and local levels) which were brought about by that critical incident. Attention will be given to the ability of the courts, the government and the public to ensure police accountability in the face of these changes.

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Updated 05/20/2006