The Police Review Project (PRP) focuses on helping community members tell their stories about their interactions with police officers to the official review board, participating in coalitions reviewing police-community relations, and supporting survivors of police brutality and police abuse. There are two different branches within PRP that work to achieve these goals.
The first branch of the PRP assists in representing civilians who file complaints against members of the Berkeley Police Department with the Berkeley Police Accountability Board (PAB). Our students review complaints and evidence collected by the Board, interview complainants and help them understand the PAB process, communicate with the Board regarding any new evidence and witnesses, prepare complainants for their hearing, and present opening and closing statements on behalf of complainants at their hearing, if one is granted. After the hearing, the complaint is either dismissed or sustained. If a complaint is “sustained,” meaning the PAB agrees that misconduct took place, they submit their findings to the Chief of Police. Students will also be asked to attend public PAB meetings to provide feedback to the city on the PAB process’s strengths and weaknesses. Our mission is to provide support to community members who have been negatively impacted by police misconduct, so they do not have to navigate this unfamiliar process on their own.
The second branch partners students with the ACLU Louisiana Justice Lab: Putting Racist Policing on Trial™. This effort challenges racially discriminatory policing practices and combats police violence against people of color. The Justice Lab primarily assists complainants in bringing challenges under the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments, in addition to § 1983. Additionally, as an alternative to litigation, the Justice Lab provides a way for impacted people to share their experiences through the Storytelling Program. Students participating in this branch will meet with clients, draft legal intake memos, and assist their storytelling initiative.
More information can be found here: https://www.laaclu.org/en/campaigns/justice-lab-putting-racist-policing-trial
Supervision: Students in the Police Review Project receive supervision by attorneys associated with each project, including the ACLU Louisiana and members of the Berkeley Law Community.
Time commitment: 10-30 hours per semester. For students serving with the Police Accountability Board, the time commitment depends on when/if a hearing is scheduled for your complainant.
For more information, please contact the student leaders at firstname.lastname@example.org.