New to the AELE Website
— 2015 —
Added Jan. & Feb. 2015
AELE published two articles on the Civil Liability for Use of Distraction Devices
— 2014 —
Added September 2014
AELE has a new webpage on police body-cam information, which will be periodically updated.
Added April 2014
AELE published an article on the “Civil Liability for the Use of Pepper Spray, Tear Gas, and Chemical Agents.”
— 2013 —
Added August 2013
AELE published an article on “Pointing and Threatening to Use Electronic Control Weapons.”
Added July 2013
AELE published an article on “Drawing and Pointing Weapons During a Terry Investigative Stop.”
Added January 2013
AELE published an article on the “Code of Silence -- Use of Force,” with links to court decisions, recommendations, and extensive references.
— 2012 —
Added June 2012
AELE published an article on weapon confusion, with links to court decisions where an officer intended to deploy a Taser, but mistakenly discharged a firearm. AELE also hosts a visual presentation by Capt. Greg Meyer (LAPD Ret.) on the controversial BART shooting -- and the subsequent conviction of an officer for involuntary manslaughter.
Added May 2012
AELE has launched an Internet portal for locating and reading ECW judicial decisions, called Electronic Control Weapons - AELE Case Summaries.
Added January 2012
AELE has revised its 2006 Training Bulletin on Potential Civil Liability for Coercive Interrogations.
— 2011 —
Added November 2011
For the 13th consecutive year, AELE has published the law outlines and visual presentations from the Annual Meeting of the International Association of Chiefs of Police, Legal Officers Section..
Added July 2011
AELE has published a specimen form to transfer ownership of a “retired” police canine to the trainer.
Added June 2011
AELE pioneered the Certified Litigation Specialist designation in 2002. Two enterprising CLS designees have formed an Association of Certified Litigation Specialists (ACLS - pronounced A-class). Read about the formation here.
Added May 2011
AELE, joined by the IACP and NSA, urged the Supreme Court to adopt an objective reasonableness standard for warrantless entries into premises predicated on exigent circumstances. The brief stressed that officers need clear guidance and a uniform rule for training and operational purposes -- and for their safety when confronting dangerous offenders. In an 8-1 holding, the Justices reversed the Kentucky Supreme Court, writing: “Some courts, including the Kentucky Supreme Court, have imposed additional requirements... Such requirements are unsound and are thus rejected.” Kentucky v. King, #09-1272.
Added April 2011
AELE ’s Certified Litigation Specialist program was featured in Police One article. “A way to stop legal issues before they start: A new breed of legal eagles called Certified Litigation Specialists are helping police agencies win civil litigation cases.” Read the article at http://www.aele.org/p1-cls.pdf
— 2010 —
Added November 2010
AELE, joined by the IACP and NSA, filed a brief urging the U.S. Supreme Court to adopt an objective reasonableness standard for warrantless entries into premises predicated on exigent circumstances. The brief stressed that officers need clear guidance and a uniform rule for training and operational purposes -- and for their safety when confronting dangerous offenders. Read the AELE brief. View the Kentucky decision appealed from..
Added July 2010
AELE launched inexpensive Use of Force mini-seminars that can be offered in the host agency's training room or facility. More information.
Added April 2010
The April AELE Monthly Law Journal had an article on Online Networking, Texting and Blogging by Peace Officers. Part One addresses Impeachment, Policy & First Amendment Issues.
Added February 2010
AELE began hosting a newly compiled menu of online law enforcement policies and procedures, collected by Brian Cummings of the Richmond, VA, Police Dept. Click here.
— 2009 —
Added September, 2009
AELE wrote a Specimen Policy prohibiting retaliation. Click here to read or download.
Added September 2009
Should officers be allowed to view video-recordings of a use of force incident before giving statements to investigators or completing use of force or witness reports? Click here.
Added January 2009
AELE, joined by national and state associations, asked the Supreme Court to overturn an Arizona decision that impairs officer safety during traffic stops. The lower court majority held that “when an officer initiates an investigative encounter with a passenger that was consensual and wholly unconnected to the original purpose of the routine traffic stop of the driver, that officer may not conduct a Terry frisk of the passenger without reasonable cause to believe ‘criminal activity may be afoot.’” Click here to read the Arizona decision, and here to view our amicus brief. A unanimous U.S. Supreme Court reversed the Arizona decision, ruling that a lawful investigatory stop exists when it is lawful for officers to stop a vehicle and its occupants to inquire into a vehicular violation, that officers do not have to have reason to believe that an occupant is involved in a crime, but must have reasonable suspicion that the person to be frisked may be armed and dangerous. To read the Court’s opinion, click here.
— 2008 —
Added June 2008
AELE added a RSS news feed to this website, which will feature links to news and information of interest to law enforcement, including new court cases, new articles, and other documents. To subscribe to this free service, click here.
Added May 2008
AELE added an illustrated Guide to help readers navigate our publications, the libraries of case summaries, the search engine and other resources. Click here to view, save or print the 19 page document.
— 2007 —
Added Nov. 2007
Federal court finds that only the first three of five applications of the TASER were objectively reasonable.
Added Jan. 2007
AELE inaugurated a Monthly Law Journal with at least three articles a month. Like the periodicals, they address police civil liability, public safety discipline or employment law, and jail & prison litigation. Access the Law Journal or our periodicals here. These are free publications, and no registration or password is required.
— 2006 —
Announced July 2006
The AELE Board of Directors decided to remove the password
gateway from the monthly publications, the library of more than 20,000 case
summaries, and the search engine. Access is now free to all visitors to the
AELE website. AELE ceased billing renewal subscriptions in May.
Added June 2006
AELE, joined by the IACP and NSA, had asked the Supreme Court
to affirm the conviction of a parolee who was searched by a police officer. As
a condition of parole, California inmates agree to be subject to search by a
parole or police officer at any time of the night or day, with or without a
search warrant and with or without cause. The Justices, by a 6-3 vote, in an opinion
written by Justice Thomas, has held that the Fourth Amendment does not prohibit
a police officer from conducting a suspicionless search of a parolee.
Added May 2006
AELE had asked the Supreme Court to overturn a Utah decision that held that police officers, who were called to the scene of a loud party, were not allowed to enter the home to stop a violent fight that they observed through a back window. The Justices have reversed the Utah court, 9-to-0, in an opinion written by Chief Justice Roberts.
AELE publishes a law training bulletin “Potential Civil Liability for Coercive Interrogations,” by James Manak
— 2005 —
Added April 2005
Added January 2005
AELE published a Specimen Policy to implement the Law Enforcement Officers’ Safety Act of 2004: The statute authorizes current and qualified retired officers to carry a concealed firearm throughout the U.S.
— 2004 —
Added November 2004
Interviews and Interrogations of Public Employees: Beckwith, Garrity, Miranda and Weingarten Rights, an article appearing in the Law Enforcement Executive Forum (Nov. 2004).
Added July 2004
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, in State of New York v. Tanella, 374 F.3d 141, a case in which AELE and the IACP filed an amicus brief (see Jan. 2004 below), issued an opinion upholding the dismissal of manslaughter charges against a federal agent who fatally shot a resisting suspect. The court found that the agent was immune from state prosecution under the Supremacy Clause of the United States Constitution. It also found that the agent honestly believed his life to be in danger at the time of the shooting and that his belief was objectively reasonable. Click here to view the appeals court opinion. You also can read the AELE-IACP brief, the lower court decision, and the prosecution’s brief.
Added April 2004
Article: “Criminal Justice Compliance Officer: A new title and duties for self-governance responsibilities within law enforcement and corrections agencies.” Compliance by police and correctional agencies has been the subject of oversight efforts from a variety of sources, primarily political, citizen and judicial. This article discusses those systems and then focuses on a fourth concept, the creation of an internal compliance office. [PDF]
St. Louis University School of Law has published two articles on police officer decertification and “gypsy” cops. The full text of both can be viewed on our website.
• Revocation of Police Officer Certification: A Viable Remedy for Police Misconduct? St. Louis University Law Journal (2001).
• New Approaches to Ensuring the Legitimacy of Police Conduct: De-Certification: Achieving Interstate Reciprocity, Saint Louis University Public Law Review (2003).
— 2003 —
Added April 2003 – updated Dec. 2003
AELE filed a “friend of the court” brief in U.S. v. Banks, 540 U.S. 31, 124 S.Ct. 521, where police waited only 15-20 seconds after knocking, before a forcible entry was made to serve a drug search warrant. The 9th Circuit’s decision favoring the defendant was overturned in a 9-to-0 opinion in Dec. 2003.
Added February 2003
Article: “New Challenges for Law Enforcement Professional Standards Officers.” It explains how internal affairs investigators also should have the responsibility to identify their agency’s policy or training failures that have caused or contributed to a justified citizen complaint or lawsuit.
— 2002 —
AELE Board authorized a “Certified Legal Specialist“ designation for qualified seminar attendants