ACLU of South Carolina
Law Enforcement Certification and Decertification Processes
This memo will help inform our overall strategy to reduce the size, scope, and role of law enforcement.
Posted August 31, 2020
Background & Context
Police violence is an everyday reality for Black people in America. April marked five years since the murder of Walter Scott by the North Charleston Police Department. Recently, yet another video emerged of North Charleston police using excessive force against a young Black man.
As part of our campaign to reduce the size, scope, and role of law enforcement, we are working to ensure that law enforcement are held accountable when they abuse their power.
Work & Deliverables
Key question to answer in the memo include:
● What are the law enforcement certification and decertification processes?
● Can people police if they haven’t completed the certification process?
● What kinds of misconduct should/must result in decertification?
● Who conducts the investigation/oversees the decertification process?
● Independence of decertification process?
● Mechanisms to hold law enforcement leaders accountable if they fail to report/investigate misconduct by their officers?
● What information can the public access re: law enforcement officer misconduct (i.e. complaint history, acquittals, only if decertified)?
● Do law enforcement officers resign and move to a new department to avoid formal misconduct inquiries?
● The process in reality (i.e. number of officers reported for misconduct, number of decertifications, other issues)?
● Compare with Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama, and Florida.