This course will address federal criminal police misconduct with a specific focus on the use of excessive force by police. Students will examine and analyze relevant statues and key cases with a focus on gaining a practical understanding of the elements and application of these statutes. Students will have the opportunity to engage in discussions regarding the larger societal conversations relevant to these cases in order to better understand the various lenses through which prospective jurors may view such cases. Students will also learn about the tailored strategies applicable to investigating and litigating police misconduct cases, as many of these strategies are unique to this specific area of law.
In addition to exploring various fact patterns through in-class discussion, students will utilize a specific hypothetical case fact pattern throughout the duration of the course that will serve as a basis for exploring the relevant statutes and strategies. As the course progresses, students will investigate the hypothetical case (including through an “investigation workshop”), analyze evidence related to the case, and litigate the case (through a “litigation workshop” and mock trial exercises).
Please note that the subject matter of this course will require students to read about, view, listen to, and discuss material that may be disturbing or offensive to some or all students. Such material may include videos of police shootings, recordings or descriptions of the use of offensive language, and other similar material.