Youth & Police

icon use of forcePolice and the Use of Force  

This lesson focuses on the issue of police use of force in field situations. After a brief focus activity, students read and discuss a reading that describes laws and rules affecting the types and level of force, including deadly force. Then, in a paired activity, students take the role of police officers, review guidelines, and apply them to hypothetical cases. 

icon boardofrightsPolicing the Police  

In this lesson, students focus on issues of police discipline. First, in a reading and discussion, students learn about the processes many police departments use to investigate citizen complaints about misconduct and for disciplining officers. Then, in a simulation activity, students take the role of members of a police Board of Rights to make decisions about a hypothetical case. 

icon sp40The Case of Special Order 40  

This lesson features a Panel Discussion activity that provides teachers and students with a format for a structured discussion of controversial immigration policy (Special Order 40, which prohibits LAPD officers from initiating “initiate police action with the objective of discovering the alien status of a person.”).

icon body camPolice Body Cameras and the Use of Force 

This lesson examines the issue of whether police should wear body cameras to record their interactions with the public. Students learn about policies governing police use of force and the use of body cameras to record related incidents. In a small group activity, students elements of a body camera policy designed for adoption by a local police department.

icon racialprofRacial Profiling 

This reading and role-play activity provides students with the necessary background for a discussion on racial profiling and police tactics in the investigation of crimes.

icon colorofjustColor of Justice  

This reading and activity enable students to examine the issue of racial profiling and its effect on arrests, plea bargaining, jury verdicts, sentencing, and death penalties. Students then form small groups to evaluate the pros and cons of various proposals designed to prevent discrimination in these categories and come up with suggestions of their own. 

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