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In its July 1998 report, Shielded from Justice: Police Brutality and Accountability in the United States, Human Rights Watch docume.Abuse by law enforcement officers in the United States is one of the most serious and divisive human rights violations in the country. The violations persist nationwide, in rural, suburban, and urban areas of the country, committed by various law enforcement personnel including local and state police, sheriff's departments, and federal agents. Police have engaged in unjustified shootings, severe beatings, fatal chokings, and unnecessarily rough treatment. While the proportion of repeatedly abusive officers on any force is generally small, responsible authorities— including law enforcement supervisors, as well as local and federal government leadership—often fail to act decisively to restrain or penalize such acts.
In its July 1998 report, Shielded from Justice: Police Brutality and Accountability in the United States, Human Rights Watch documents police misconduct in fourteen cities: Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Detroit, Indianapolis, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, New Orleans, New York, Philadelphia, Portland, Providence, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C. Human Rights Watch found that all the cities share a lack of effective public accountability and transparency, a persistent failure to investigate and punish officers who commit human rights violations, and a variety of obstacles to achieving justice.
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