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Prosecutors’ union inadvertently demonstrates why local prosecutors shouldn’t investigate police shootings


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"Debbaudt and the ADDA are miffed that the bill’s sponsor and supporters don’t think local prosecutors are capable of conducting impartial investigations. But recognizing the incentives at play in these investigations isn’t suggesting that all prosecutors are corrupt or are openly biased toward police. It’s merely showing an understanding that incentives matter and that we should structure these investigations in a way that minimizes bias — whether explicit or cognitive. It’s also important that the public perceives the system to be fair. This point — fighting the appearance of bias — may seem like kowtowing to the masses. But police agencies in particular should be concerned about how the public perceives these investigations. If most cops are good cops, then most cops will be cleared when they’re wrongly accused. But when egregiously bad cops are never held to account, even after multiple offenses, the public will start to question the process itself. And that calls into question the clearances of the good cops, too."


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