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H.R. 2972 (102nd): Police Accountability Act of 1991

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The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress.


7/23/1991--Introduced. Police Accountability Act of 1991 - Makes it unlawful for any governmental authority to engage in a pattern or practice of conduct by law enforcement officers that deprives persons of their constitutional or statutory rights, privileges, or immunities. Authorizes: (1) civil actions by the Attorney General and by any injured person to obtain equitable and declaratory relief to eliminate any such pattern or practice; and (2) the court to allow the prevailing plaintiff (in the case of an action by an injured person) reasonable attorney's fees and other litigation fees and costs, including expert's fees. Specifies that a governmental body shall be liable for such fees and costs to the same extent as a private individual. Establishes penalties for police brutality (excessive force), including a fine and imprisonment for any term of years or life if death results, for not more than ten years if bodily injury other than death results, and for not to exceed one year in any other case. Directs the Attorney General to acquire and publish an annual summary of data about complaints to criminal justice authorities about the use of excessive force by law enforcement officers. Requires State applications for justice system improvement grants (under the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968) to include a certification that the State and its units of local government are providing such data to the Attorney General.