Professor Kami Chavis Simmons participates in symposium addressing police misconduct at St. Louis University

Photo of Wake Forest Law Professor Kami Chavis

Professor Kami Chavis

Wake Forest University School of Law Professor Kami Chavis Simmons will participate in the symposium, “Control of Police Misconduct in a Post-Exclusionary Rule World: Can it be Done?,” hosted by the St. Louis University School of Law on Friday, Feb. 24. 

Simmons will be participating on a panel entitled, “Departmental Level Efforts to Achieve Accountability,” along with David A. Klinger, associate professor of criminal justice, University of Missouri-St. Louis and a former officer in the Los Angeles Police Department; James F. Gilsinan, E. Desmond Lee Professor in Collaborative Regional Education at Saint Louis University; and Paul F. Evans, Chief of Security, Suffolk Downs and former Boston Police Department commissioner.

“I will specifically speak about the benefits of hiring practices that focus on heightened educational requirements for police officers and strategies to achieve greater racial and gender diversity of the police force,” Simmons said.

Recent rulings by the U.S. Supreme Court such as Michigan v. Hudson suggest that the exclusionary rule is no longer necessary because police behavior is now controlled by other means. Better training, civilian review boards, and civil rights lawsuits reduce the necessity for the exclusionary rule.  Through a dialogue of police officials and legal minds, practitioners and academics, the role of remedies will be discussed if they are even needed at all.

The host of the event, The St. Louis Law Review, was created to specifically address issues of public interest and policy. According to the Law Review, its purpose is to, “provide an open and uncensored forum to legal scholars, practicing attorneys, legislators, and public interest advocates for debating current topics that are significant in the area of public interest law.”

Simmons, who joined the Wake Forest University School of Law faculty in 2006, brings substantial experience to teaching and writing about criminal law. After receiving her J.D. from Harvard Law School, she worked as an associate at private law firms in Washington, D.C., where she participated in various aspects of civil litigation, white-collar criminal defense, and internal investigations. In 2003, she became an Assistant United States Attorney for the District of Columbia, involving her in a wide range of criminal prosecutions and in arguing and briefing appeals before the District of Columbia Court of Appeals. Professor Simmons frequently makes presentations on law-enforcement issues and is a leader in the field of police accountability. Her articles have appeared in the University of Alabama Law Review, the Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology and the Catholic University Law Review, and other legal journals.  Her research focuses on using Cooperative Federalism principals and stakeholder participation to implement sustainable reforms in the criminal justice system.  Her article, “Subverting Symbolism: The Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act and Cooperative Federalism” will appear in the American Criminal Law Review in 2012.