Just one day after a video surfaced of a white South Carolina high school resource officer flipping a black student in her chair and dragging her across a classroom, the FBI and U.S. Department of Justice said they would investigate the incident, which had quickly garnered national attention. Yet in previous cases involving police using what was seen as excessive force on a racial minority, federal agencies have sometimes taken months to decide to investigate—or chosen not to investigate at all. Several criminal justice experts say the speed with which the FBI and the Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department announced they would investigate the South Carolina incident is unprecedented. And some say this may indicate that the federal government is finally reacting appropriately to what activists believe are widespread issues of police misconduct. “I think it’s extremely quick, based on past cases,” says William Terrill, a criminal justice professor at Michigan State University. “Obviously, with the tone and the tenor of police-community relations going on in the past year-plus, certainly the civil rights division has been getting involved in more and more cases. It’s just usually not this quick.” The controversial video surfaced on Twitter on Monday and… Read full this story
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