2015 was not a good year for the police. The news was rife with allegations of excessive force, and in many cases included videos that backed the claims up. It seemed that no city or state was spared: Baltimore, Cleveland, Ferguson, New York, Texas, Chicago. The list goes on.
In response to what they saw, citizens took to the streets, demanding accountability and a change in police tactics. There were calls for resignations. The Department of Justice jumped in to investigate. Some officers were put on leave or suspended, while others were cleared of wrongdoing.
Many police departments promised change. They vowed to look inward. Some even sent officers abroad to study police tactics in foreign countries that have been successful at limiting excessive force. The verdict at home is still out.
In some cases, civil lawsuits were filed against the officers and police departments accused of excessive force. For families who lost a loved one, like a young son, lawsuits like these are often their only vindication, especially if criminal charges are not brought or a jury acquits the police of criminal conduct.