The push to remake policing takes decades, only to begin again

Three "historic firsts in policing reforms" show how attempts to root out systemic problems in policing can fail. In all three cases – federal intervention to curb civil rights abuses in Pittsburgh, a computerized early-warning system to spot abusive Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies, and rules put in place to reduce racial profiling in New Jersey traffic stops – bureaucratic and leadership failures, plus cultural resistance to change in police ranks, undermined early successes or good intentions. In all three cases, the problems persist decades later.

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