Updated: Pitt Law Professor David Harris Speaks To Media About Latest Police Accountability Crises
Speaking to a variety of media outlets this week, Pitt Law Professor David Harris lent his expertise and offered analysis on the latest police violence crises in the United States.
Writing for Politico, Harris offered a widely shared cogent summary of 5 actions President Obama can take with regards to the latest police accountability crisis in Baltimore, Md. in the matter of 25-year-old Freddie Gray, who died in police custody under mysterious circumstances, April 19. Gray's death has triggered days of civil unrest in Baltimore and continuing silence from the police investigation.
"The Department of Justice has the authority to investigate police departments for patterns of unconstitutional conduct, and can sue these departments," Harris writes. "The department can also prosecute individual officers for criminal conduct that violates constitutional rights. But other efforts to improve local policing must come from state and local governments." Read the entire column at Politico.
On May 1, 2015, after manslaughter charges were pressed against six Baltimore police officers for the death of Freddie Gray, Harris joined Judy Woodruff on PBS News Hour as an expert guest. Listen to the segment and read the transcript at PBS: "Do Baltimore’s charges against police signal a change?"
After the charges, Harris also spoke to The New York Times in "6 Baltimore Police Officers Charged in Freddie Gray Death."
For Business Insider, Harris offered expert commentary in "Why Baltimore's star prosecutor will have a hard time convicting the 6 charged cops."
Locally, Harris spoke with Essential Pittsburgh on 90.5 WESA about the developments in the segment "Essential Pittsburgh: Baltimore Officers Charged in the Death of Freddie Gray."
Earlier for The Washington Post, Harris offered commentary on the matter of the latest string of questionable police actions. “It’s a question of whether it was too much force,” Harris said. “It’s a very flexible standard that has to be interpreted in every case. All this makes it very difficult to convict an officer.” Read "Thousands Dead, Few Prosecuted" at The Washington Post.
Harris was also on MSNBC's The Last Word With Lawrence O'Donnell April 14 to discuss the Tulsa, Okla. county deputy who shot and killed a man instead of using his taser, as well as the matter of a Tuscon, Ariz. officer who used his cruiser to ram a suspect at high speed. Watch the segment.