FRONTLINE Police Reform Collection


These resources from FRONTLINE focus on the issue of police reform.

  • Policing the Police: Investigating the Newark Police Department

    Journalist Jelani Cobb examines the history of conflict between the black community and the Newark Police Department (NPD), in this video excerpted from FRONTLINE: Policing the Police. An investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) confirmed in 2014 that the NPD had for decades used excessive force, failed to look into complaints of police brutality, and engaged in discriminatory policing. One of 34 departments nationwide that were ordered by the DOJ to make reforms, the NPD was ordered to retrain its officers and “rethink” its relationship with the people it serves. This resource is part of the FRONTLINE Police Reform Collection.

    Grades: 9-12
  • Policing the Police: Newark's Mayor on Community Policing

    Find out what the mayor of Newark, New Jersey, considers to be one of the keys to unbiased policing, in this video from FRONTLINE: Policing the Police. In a conversation with journalist Jelani Cobb, Mayor Ras Baraka explains why he considers random stops by the police that are aimed at a specific group of people to be racist, despite the city’s police force being diverse. He suggests that using more effective intelligence gathering is one solution. In an accompanying article, the mayor provides additional insights into the legacy of racism and the challenges of police reform. This resource is part of the FRONTLINE Police Reform Collection.

    Grades: 9-12
  • Policing the Police: Perspectives on Police Encounters

    Can police keep the community safe while still upholding citizens’ constitutional rights? In these videos from FRONTLINE: Policing the Police, journalist Jelani Cobb explores this crucial question with several Newark, New Jersey, police officers. Their conversation reveals the issues that law enforcement and people of color encounter, including police use of weapons during routine questioning, racial bias, police accountability, and the need for police to deal with potentially dangerous situations. These videos are part of the FRONTLINE Police Reform Collection.

    Grades: 9-12
  • #AskFRONTLINE | What Is the Goal of Police Reform?

    Find out what happens when federal investigators are called in to reform police departments that engage in discriminatory policing in this video from #AskFRONTLINE. Reporter Sarah Childress explains that one goal is to improve the relationship between police officers and the community they serve. This resource is part of the FRONTLINE Police Reform Collection.

    Download teacher support materials for this resource: Teaching Tips  |  Student Handout  |  Vocabulary and Terms

    Grades: 9-12
  • #AskFRONTLINE | What's the Difference Between Police Investigations & Police Reform?

    Learn about the difference between individual officer misconduct investigations and whole police department reforms in this video from #AskFRONTLINE. Reporter Sarah Childress explains what federal investigators look for when investigating a whole police department and the challenges involved in creating systemic change. This resource is part of the FRONTLINE Police Reform Collection.

    Download teacher support materials for this resource:  Teaching Tips  |  Student Handout  |  Vocabulary and Terms

    Grades: 9-12
  • #AskFRONTLINE | Is Police Reform Even Possible?

    Find out what the federal Justice Department is able to do when it comes to reforming police departments nationwide in this video from #AskFRONTLINE. Reporter Sarah Childress explains that while the Department of Justice does not have the authority or the capacity to routinely oversee all police departments, it looks for a pattern or practice of abuse. This resource is part of the FRONTLINE Police Reform Collection.

    Download teacher support materials for this resource: Teaching Tips  |  Student Handout  |  Vocabulary and Terms

    Grades: 9-12
  • FRONTLINE | Are Police Reforms Changing Cop Culture inside the LAPD?

    Follow a Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) police officer as he tries to build relationships with the community in an approach known as “community policing,” in this video from FRONTLINE. After a major scandal in an anti-gang unit, the LAPD was forced in 2001 to reform under federal oversight. Hear from a community member who feels that the increased police presence as a result of community policing is leading to more tension and anxiety. Consider the challenges of trying to change the culture inside the LAPD, its interactions with the community, and the way the community responds. This resource is part of the FRONTLINE Police Reform Collection.

    Download teacher support materials for this resource: Teaching Tips  |  Student Handout  |  Vocabulary and Terms

    Grades: 9-12

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