Amid Criticism, Elite Crime Teams Dwindled. Then Cities Brought Them Back.

In 2020, about three weeks after the death of George Floyd, the New York police commissioner at the time, Dermot F. Shea, announced disbanding the department’s crime-fighting units, plainclothes squads were involved in many police killings, including Eric Garner’s death in 2014.

Mr. Shea described the move as “a seismic shift in the culture of how the NYPD runs this great city.” A year ago, faced with rising crime rates, Mayor Eric Adams announced he is restoring a version of the units, declaring, “we will not surrender our city to a handful of violence.”

In Chicago, the police department has created and eliminated a number of specialized units over the years, either as a result of the scandal or because they created tension with their aggressive tactics. The most recent units — the Community Safety Team and the Critical Incident Response Team — launched in 2020 and are still operational, though the department declined to answer questions about its size or mission. Surname.

At the time the new squads were announced, Chicago police superintendent David Brown made a point of distinguishing the new units from previous units, saying they were not “a mobile strike force”. like what CPD had,” According to The Chicago Tribune. The city’s most notorious unit, the Division of Special Operations, or SOS, was disbanded in 2007 after several officers were found guilty. violation arrayinclude theftviolated federal civil rights and, in one case, attempted to kill a fellow officer.

Anthony Driver Jr., chairman of the city’s civil police oversight board, said his team had questions about the units even before Nichols died in Memphis, and was pressing for more information. believe.

“We have concerns and we need answers,” he said.

Atlanta’s reuse of specialized units — operating under the names Apex and Titan — came under scrutiny after Nichols’ death because Cerelyn Davis, the Memphis police chief, had worked in Atlanta and oversaw the Red Dog unit. , which has been blamed for a series of police abuses, including the murder of Mrs. Johnston, in which three officers sentenced go to jail.


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