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Sunday, April 13, 2008

A Few Police Statistics

I'm in the process of doing some pretty difficult research in order to get an idea of how different cities rank in terms of police misconduct and detainee abuse. Of course it began, in part, because I planned on moving away from Seattle soon.

Hopefully people understand that it's painful for me to live in the city where I was wrongfully tortured and it's dangerous for me to stay while the local government refuses to acknowledge what happened and put any effort into preventing it from happening again.

But then the threats from police officers in other cities and states started coming in, apparently at the behest of Seattle police officers, and it forced me to realize that I have to leave not just Seattle, but the country itself for my own safety. So now I've also started to gather information about how different nations rank in terms of civil rights, police conduct, and police accountability as well.

It's a difficult task, and I say it's a difficult task because it's a difficult set of statistics to find. Not many cities or countries want to give people an idea of how many actual cases of police misconduct occur and even then it's difficult to assess whether the statistics are accurate because of the blue wall of silence.

But, there is some information out there, and when I've finished I'll post it here... whether I'm still in Seattle or not. Until I gather more specific stats on police misconduct though, here are some interesting stats that I have found...

The US has more police officers than any other nation in the world:

According to the BJS, as of March 2001, the nation's federal, state, and local justice system employed almost 2.3 million persons — about 1.1 million working in law enforcement, just under a half million in the courts, prosecution and public defense services, and nearly three-quarters of a million in corrections. The March 2001 payroll at all levels of government totaled $8.1 billion.

The nearest nation tracked is India with slightly over a million officers in 2003:

So much for all the demands for even more police...

Consider that the US imprisons more people per capita than any other nation in the world with just over 1 per every 100 persons and 1 in 10 children in the US have a parent behing held in custody... Then consider this:

Americans rank 13th (48%) in their confidence of their own justice system:

Amazing, isn't it? America has more cops and more people in prison than any other country in the world, and still we're not satisfied. Then consider that the Innocence Project has shown that America also has a penchant for punishing and killing the innocent with alarming frequency as well.

Why isn't a law enforcement system that is so expensive, so pervasive, and so imbued with unrestrained power still not enough for Americans? I suppose that maybe America is just a nation of fearful sadists, only happy and secure when bringing about the suffering of others, whether they deserve it or not.

...more to come.

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