Case: DOJ Investigation of Harvey Police Department

No Court

Filed Date: Dec. 12, 2008

Closed Date: 2012

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

On December 12, 2008, the Special Litigation Section of the United States Department of Justice Civil Rights Division (DOJ) initiated an investigation of the City of Harvey, Illinois Police Department (HPD), pursuant to the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994, 42 U.S.C. § 14141. On January 18, 2012, the DOJ issued their findings. Though the DOJ did not find there to be a pattern or practice of constitutional or federal law violations, they did conclude that there were serious …

On December 12, 2008, the Special Litigation Section of the United States Department of Justice Civil Rights Division (DOJ) initiated an investigation of the City of Harvey, Illinois Police Department (HPD), pursuant to the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994, 42 U.S.C. § 14141.

On January 18, 2012, the DOJ issued their findings. Though the DOJ did not find there to be a pattern or practice of constitutional or federal law violations, they did conclude that there were serious deficiencies in the operation of the HPD to create an unreasonable risk that constitutional violations will occur. Specifically, the DOJ noted a failure to provide sufficient descriptions of the nature of resistance encountered, often employing one-word descriptions. This made it practically impossible to know whether officers were using the appropriate amount of force. Such descriptions were casually reviewed by supervisors and rubber-stamped. Accordingly, the DOJ made recommendations for remedial measures concerning reporting, reviewing, and investigating use of force. They recommended reworking HPD's policies for the use of force, requiring watch commanders to respond to the scene of any incidents, implementing an early invention system, modifying internal affairs investigations, and revising the process of handling citizen complaints against officers.

The DOJ investigation was closed following these recommendations and has not been reopened.

Summary Authors

Richard Jolly (11/26/2014)

People


Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Smith, Jonathan Mark (District of Columbia)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Smith, Jonathan Mark (District of Columbia)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

Findings Letter

Jan. 18, 2012

Jan. 18, 2012

Findings Letter/Report

Technical Assistance Report (2012)

Jan. 18, 2012

Jan. 18, 2012

Findings Letter/Report

Resources

Docket

Last updated May 11, 2022, 8 p.m.

Docket sheet not available via the Clearinghouse.

Case Details

State / Territory: Illinois

Case Type(s):

Policing

Key Dates

Filing Date: Dec. 12, 2008

Closing Date: 2012

Case Ongoing: No

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

DOJ investigation of use of force by the Harvey Police Department

Plaintiff Type(s):

U.S. Dept of Justice plaintiff

Attorney Organizations:

U.S. Dept. of Justice Civil Rights Division

Public Interest Lawyer: Yes

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: No

Class Action Outcome: Not sought

Defendants

Harvey Police Department (Cook), City

Defendant Type(s):

Law-enforcement

Case Details

Causes of Action:

34 U.S.C. § 12601 (previously 42 U.S.C. § 14141)

Constitutional Clause(s):

Due Process

Unreasonable search and seizure

Special Case Type(s):

Out-of-court

Availably Documents:

None of the above

Outcome

Prevailing Party: None Yet / None

Nature of Relief:

None

Source of Relief:

None

Issues

General:

Excessive force

Incident/accident reporting & investigations