UVA Law Professor writes casebook on policing laws

UVA Law Professor writes casebook on policing laws

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - The way policing is enforced could forever be changed, following a new casebook written by a Law professor at the University of Virginia.

UVA Law Professor and Director of the Center for Criminal Justice Rachel Harmon says often times, society is reactive to crimes committed by police officers, in her new book, “The Law of the Police,” she’s hoping to make people more proactive.

“This book is intended to be a resource in the classroom and outside of it,” she said.

Harmon says she’s spent years working on this book and the philosophy isn’t something new to her classroom.

“I’ve been teaching classes on law and policing,” she said. “I’d like those classes to be taught at other law schools as well. Until now there were no materials available to professors.”

She says many problems in policing can be prevented.

“A lot of my research is about preventing harms of policing through front end accountability as opposed to waiting until after a problem occurs,” Harmon said.

Now that the casebook is written, she wants to continue her research.

“It’s continuing to think about ways to help understand police accountability and community governance of policing,” Harmon said.

Even though this book was just published, she’s seen her students help make changes through these ideas she teaches.

“They definitely use this,” Harmon said. “You know when I first started teaching, I said well this isn’t intended to be a really practical course that’s shifted over time and now I expect my students to go out in the world and practice in this area.”

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