Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and On-the-Street Police Encounters [June 8, 2021] [open pdf - 769KB]
From the Introduction: "The Americans with Disabilities Act [hyperlink] (ADA) mandates, as its core imperative, that both public and private sector entities offer 'reasonable accommodations' in their policies and practices for those with disabilities. Courts have applied the ADA's Title II reasonable accommodation provision, which prohibits discrimination by 'public entities,' to a broad array of public programs and services, ranging from use of city streets [hyperlink] to municipal contracting [hyperlink] to access to public benefits [hyperlink]. Although the courts have consistently held that police departments are 'public entities' and that Title II applies to at least some state and local law enforcement functions, the courts are split on whether the ADA's reasonable accommodation requirement applies to on-the-street encounters with law enforcement officers, such as use-of-force situations or arrests. [...] [T]he lower courts are still in conflict about how police must handle encounters with individuals with disabilities. This issue has drawn attention again as some Members of Congress have pushed for alternative policing techniques, such as training in de-escalation tactics. This Legal Sidebar provides background on Title II of the ADA, reviews the case law applying the ADA to law enforcement activities, discusses the circuit split on the ADA's application to on-the-street police encounters, and surveys relevant legislation introduced in the 117th Congress. This Legal Sidebar provides background on Title II of the ADA, reviews the case law applying the ADA to law enforcement activities, discusses the circuit split on the ADA's application to on-the-street police encounters, and surveys relevant legislation introduced in the 117th Congress."
CRS Legal Sidebar, LSB10606
Congressional Research Service: https://crsreports.congress.gov/