Amid intense scrutiny from the Justice Department, police departments around the nation are quickly developing new training guidelines on the use of force.
New York alone is in the middle of a $35 million initiative to retrain nearly 35,000 law-enforcement officers to change how they interact with citizens and to defuse situations without too much force, the Wall Street Journal reports.
Police in New York, Los Angeles and other major cities are working on new training rules and are starting to adopt the use of body cameras as well.
“I think you are going to see a very different reality after this training has been achieved,” Mr. de Blasio said. “I have no doubt that some tragedies will be averted because of this training.”
Departments are trying to prevent police from escalating encounters with civilians into deadly ones, especially with minorities.
Over the last two weeks, separate grand juries declined to indict white officers in deaths of unarmed black men. Officer Darren Wilson was not indicted in Ferguson after shooting and killing 18-year-old Michael Brown. Officer Daniel Pantaleo was not indicted in Staten Island after the chokehold death of Eric Garner.
“Clearly both of these are serious tragedies that we’ve seen in our society and I think the American people want to understand more of what the facts were,” said House Speaker John Boehner, who also raised the possibility of congressional hearings. “There are a lot of unanswered questions that Americans have and frankly I have.”
Both incidents sparked nationwide protests leading to mass arrests and violence.
In Cleveland, a Justice Department prove concluded the Cleveland Division of Police has a pattern of using excessive force; firing weapons and in using non-deadly techniques. Officials agreed to an outside monitor to improve training and practices.
The New York Police Department made over 200 arrests Thursday during the second night of protests after the announcement of no indictment in the Garner case.
Protesters shut down major roadways and at one point blocked access to the Brooklyn Bridge and the Lincoln Tunnel.