CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) — The ACLU of West Virginia has released its 2020 Police Misconduct Report and is now calling for more accountability from West Virginia law enforcement.
According to the ACLU, the report finds that agencies are not maintaining adequate public records related to use-of-force. The report calls for increased community engagement between law enforcement agencies and their communities.
ACLU-WV compiled the report through public records requests made to 275 law enforcement agencies in the state under the West Virginia Freedom of Information Act. The overall response rate was just 54 percent. Just 21 of the state’s 55 county sheriff’s offices responded to requests, despite a requirement they do so under law. Based on the data that was provided, the report concludes that at least 1,000 people are subjected to police violence in West Virginia every year.
“We’re very proud to have put together one of the most comprehensive studies on police force, misconduct and discipline in West Virginia. However, it was a difficult undertaking because our data collection and tracking is not acceptable,” ACLU-WV Policy Director Eli Baumwell said.