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Friday, December 26, 2008

Researching Top 10 Worst Cities For Police Misconduct

Results from reader poll ending on 01/01/09.

I'm currently working on a story that will list the 10 worst cities for police misconduct. It will be like a top ten list of cities you would never want to live in.

At this moment, since most cities still don't record misconduct statistics in a reliable manner, we'll be judging cities by the number of publicly cited reports of misconduct via the media along with the number of federal investigations, other reports of widespread misconduct, and possibly taking into consideration the severity of misconduct reported and whether cities attempted to address it or cover it up.

If you have a city, county, or other local law enforcement entity that you would like to see considered for addition to the list please let me know what city or cities you think should be considered along with any relevant details as to why they should be considered.

Deadline will be prior to December 29th.

Additionally, I've put up a poll for readers to pick which of the possible finalist cities for the top 10 worst list will ultimately be the worst of them all.

Thank you!


Burrow Owl said...

If you haven't already done so, you might want to take a look at the archives on Radley Balko's website:

( )

He's done a pretty good job of tracking, reporting on, and cataloguing LEO misconduct over the past few years.

Packratt said...

Been reading his site for a while, comment there every now and then, and have a few posts linked to his stories.

But, since he isn't focused on misconduct there are a lot of stories he misses... nothing wrong with that, but it is the nature of being specialized.

Take care, and thanks for visiting.

Five Before Midnight said...

Are you interested in larger or smaller agencies? Urban? or more rural too?

I would add Maywood (CA)Police Department. At least 1/3 of its officers were arrested, fired, failed probation or any combination of these before being hired by Maywood. Its misconduct has a fairly wide range, from excessive force to rank corruption. The department's currently being investigated by multiple agencies. The guy who's doing it told me it was the worst he's ever seen and worse than portrayed in the media. I think the state will eventually enforce some decree on it.

And get this, the city council approved two interim police chiefs, both with criminal records.

1. charged with DV assault, convicted of threatening girlfriend.

2. Al Hutchings

Convicted of theft

fired for being dishonest in a CC job as an ethics instructor

Fired from Maywood Police Department after being caught on surveillance video for having sex with a woman who owned a donut shop.

Al Hutchings background

It's fairly populated area but very densely populated. The department also contracts out to Cudahy.

Hutchings was ultimately kicked out after Deputy AG Lou Verdugo threatened to sue Maywood.

Packratt said...

They're definitely in the running as I do remember some of your stories about that department and how it was proud of hiring cops who couldn't get a job anywhere else.

Thanks for reminding me!

Five Before Midnight said...

Two articles in the LA Times about Inglewood police department's higher shooting rate of unarmed people plus its unfortunately high rate of sexual misconduct incidents.

Also, this series of articles was done on my city's department, 10 years after a pivotal shooting incident.

Packratt said...

I actually read the LA Times piece, just haven't had time to post the latest newswatch piece with that link.

Oh, and thanks for the other links too, I'll definitely check them out.

Five Before Midnight said...

Anaheim's department has a high shooting rate I've heard but I don't know much about this agency. Officers shot and killed a man who came out of his home to find out what the commotion was and it was officers chasing burglary suspects b/c he was worried about his pregnant wife's safety. They shot him instead.

Even though the chief admitted wrongdoing by the officers right after the shooting, now the department is saying he was armed with a club-like weapon. So it looks like the officers have been exonerated. Because they never make mistakes. Because they never do anything wrong. Because they've never done either in the entire history of the profession.

The young man went to school, church and is now buried in a graveyard in my city.

Packratt said...


I read that one, truly sad. Pretty sure I wrote about it in a post somewhere, just don't remember where right now.

The list is taking longer than I thought, a lot of data to sift through for just one person with two other jobs I guess. But there will be a few cities on there that aren't on the poll.

Thanks again for writing, I really do appreciate it!

Five Before Midnight said...

It's a good poll. I voted for NOPD by the way. A consultant on police practices once asked me what department I thought was most dysfunctional and that's the one that came to mind. Some U.S. Attorneys told me about some cases they did including a capital punishment case involving an officer who killed another officer who was about to blow the whistle on an organized robbery ring within the department. It was several years ago so I was shocked then. But some other agencies have bad records too.

Interestingly enough, I took an administration of justice class or two from a former police chief of Inglewood and he told some stories of clashing with the city government on the disciplining of officers, especially when they were overturned in arbitration which is more of a commentary on the arbitration process here. It became impossible for him to do anything and that's increasingly a trend in my state. That's going to have seriously negative repercussions for LE in the future.

He got so frustrated and ended up leaving. But that agency's been in the news a lot lately with deaths, and sexual misconduct scandals, indicative of problematic management at the very least.

If State AG Jerry Brown ever imposes his office's second consent decree (after Riverside's), it's going to be over Inglewood or Maywood. Maybe both. Oxford Police Department was in the running for a while but I haven't heard anything from there lately.

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