This site is devoted to increasing public awareness of police misconduct and detainee abuse in addition to providing support for victims of police misconduct and detainee abuse. If you or someone you know have witnessed abuse or have been abused, please let us know.


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Monday, March 10, 2008

Our Communication and Reporting Policy

Last week we received a few rather nasty and uncivil complaints about our site, (aside from the usual threats to have the site taken down that we often receive). To be precise, we received complaints about the matter of providing sources for our claim that we’ve received information about ongoing abuses at the King County Jail as jail representatives and the Department of Justice Civil Rights Division are in continuing talks to determine whether the jail will take sufficient steps to resolve the deadly constitutional rights violations it has been found to be committing at that facility.

Our policy is thus: When we receive a private communication from anyone, we will not publish the contents of that communication without the express consent of the sender so long as that communication is civil in nature. we will also remove any identifying information from the reported case of abuse if requested to protect the identity of abuse victims and witnesses to cases of abuse.

We do this for a specific reason, to protect the people who have already been abused or have witnessed abuse from further abuses that could be performed by the same individuals who abused them or the supporters of abusers. The goal of this site is to stop abuse, not facilitate it, and more often than not governmental officials and abusive authorities will commit personal attacks on the character of anyone who claims to be abused as an effort to cover up for that abuse. We feel that this is a form of abuse as well, a despicable form of psychological abuse and intimidation in the form of kicking a person who has already suffered and as such is utterly reprehensible… and we will not be a party to such abuse.

Furthermore, we also feel that the potential of retaliation against injured parties by their abusers necessitates that we always offer to redact any identifying information about a case of abuse that is reported to us in order to protect the identity of the person reporting abuse at the hands of police or corrections officers, this includes changing the dates abuse occurred and any other specifics of abuse that might identify the abused or witnesses of abuse to the abusers. So, even when we do publish reports of abuse we will often not identify or source that report unless it also appears elsewhere with identifying information.

Now, sure, this puts us in a predicament, how can we credibly report cases or claims of abuse when we don’t source that information to a source of that information so that it can be validated? We can’t, and we won’t, because to do so could put an abused person at risk of further abuses at the hands of the very people who abused that person, and we feel that act would be far more unethical than risking our credibility when we make statements about how we’ve received reports of abuse or publish redacted accounts of abuse.

Also, this policy of non-disclosure extends to any public officials who share their opinions or information about police misconduct or detainee abuse with us, we will not disclose that information without express permission in order to protect those people from retaliation by the police or corrections officers or their political organizations which is necessary to facilitate a free flow of information that is necessary to help combat conditions that enable the abuse of authority to go unpunished. We've done that several times already with no complaints either.

If you feel this is somehow wrong, remember that the public is often prevented from seeing unaltered reports of police abuse and disciplinary information in order to "protect the identity of officers" who abuse citizens; even our own police accountability boards cannot view original and complete cases of confirmed abuse. So, it is only fair that we protect the identity of abused citizens and innocent witnesses to abuse when we report cases of police abuse since the identity of known abusers is so zealously protected as well.

If you disagree with this policy, or think there is a better way, we’re more than happy to hear from you so long as it’s civil and productive… and your information will be kept confidential just like anyone else’s. However, if it’s full of cursing, insults, and threats you will be ignored or we may publish such communications as examples of cases of misconduct or criminal activity when such communications merit such. I think I've shown repeatedly that I am happy to hear suggestions or complaints and respond in a civil, respectful, and receptive manner... all I ask is the same in return.

Otherwise, you will either have to accept our word when we state that we've received reports of ongoing abuses, or simply stop reading our site. Because we will not sacrifice the safety of victims of abuse or innocent witnesses of abuses just to gain noteriety or satisfy our critics, most of whom are likely to be abusers or their coworkers anyway.

Thank you.

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