Protesters with fists raised

An endless cycle of outrage and reform

For decades, police misconduct and the use of controversial tactics have fueled cycles of outrage that have been followed by commissions, studies and orders or promises to reform that often fade as time passes and scrutiny wanes.

Protests in Miami, Florida

Swept up by police

Protesters arrested after the May 25 death of George Floyd were a diverse, young group of people who demonstrated close to home and were charged largely with nonviolent crimes, according to a Washington Post review of data on more than 2,600 people detained in 15 cities.

Protestors march with signs in near the White House

What did police buy to handle protests?

This week we produced a story about police-department purchases early in the summer in response to thousands who protested George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis and police brutality nationwide.  We found that police in Washington, D.C., ordered more than $300,000 worth of “less-lethal” weapons, including tear gas, and used this and other chemical agents on largely …

Protestors march with signs in near the White House

Police stockpile ‘less-lethal’ munitions

After two nights of chaotic protests near the White House, D.C.’s Metropolitan Police Department found its supply of rubber ball grenades, high-impact sponge rounds, long-range tear-gas projectiles, and pepper spray nearly depleted. The shortage did not last long.

police truck with lights on at night

Assault on Police

Wiggling while handcuffed. Bracing one hand on the steering wheel during the arrest. Yelling at an officer. These actions have led to people being prosecuted for “assaulting a police officer” in Washington, D.C., where the offense is defined as including not just physical assault but also “resisting, opposing, impeding, intimidating or interfering” with law enforcement.