As you may have noticed, some changes are in the works.
One of these changes is in response to the fraudulent injusticeinseattle site that was set up by some Seattle police officers.
So now, not only are we at "injusticeinseattle.blogspot.com"
We are also located at www.injusticeinseattle.org
Remember, .ORG stands for the ORIGINAL Injustice In Seattle site... any other similarly named sites are fakes set up by some underhanded Seattle police officers to discourage reports of police misconduct and make it harder to find information about their abuses.
Stay tuned... We're not giving up that easily!
Wednesday, April 30, 2008
As you may have noticed, some changes are in the works.
Sunday, April 27, 2008
Some of you may remember this story about a woman who's house was searched against her will without a warrant, who was detained and intimidated in the back of a police cruiser while partially dressed for refusing to let the search continue, and then had her home ransacked by a SWAT team who was looking for her boyfriend who wasn't even there... all because the police claimed she was a victim of domestic violence despite her insistence that she wasn't and had no apparent injuries.
Well, the story still isn't over for her unfortunately. It seems as though she's tried multiple times to file complaints against the officers who violated her rights that night and the King County Sheriff's office refuses to even record the complaint, let alone investigate it. She even attempted to file a complaint through the Seattle Police Department's OPA, who forwarded the complaint to the KCSD, where it was promptly ignored as well. We advised her to file a complaint through the King County Ombudsman, but she hasn't heard any response from that office either.
Furthermore, she's been stuck with the bills for fixing the damage the police did to her home when they repeatedly searched for her boyfriend who wasn't even there. The sheriff's deputies reportedly knocked several holes in her ceiling looking for crawl-spaces and busted a door as well. Despite her attempts to file complaints, the county refuses to respond.
Oh, but it doesn't end there. Not only did the police detain her for refusing to let them search her home without a warrant and refusing to say she had been abused when it was clear she hadn't... She was sent to a nearby hospital against her will so they could examine her to make sure she wasn't hurt. While the hospital released her after a few hours when finding no injuries, she's now stuck with the ambulance and hospital bills as well!
...and the county refuses to even hear her complaint, let alone reimburse her for the damage and unwanted bills they inflicted on her that night.
Of course, if you hadn't guessed by now, the King County Sheriff's office does not have any civilian oversight, all complaints are handled by sheriff's deputies... and we all know how much cops care about investigating misconduct performed by fellow officers.
She is still in the process of trying to find a lawyer to help after she'd tried repeatedly to handle this through the official channels. We wish her the best of luck! Hopefully, the county will learn that investigating complaints and being accountable for damage done by police misconduct is cheaper than dealing with lawsuits that victims have to file when they are given no other option.
Saturday, April 26, 2008
An unarmed Sean Bell was killed before he was to be married by a barrage of 50 bullets fired by NYPD officers 2 years ago.
Yesterday, Sean Bell was killed again by a shot fired by the justice system of the United States... at least, this is how it felt to the woman who Sean was to marry the day after he was killed by the police.
"The justice system let me down... They killed Sean all over again, that's what it felt like to us." Nicole Paultre Bell said of the verdict which acquitted three officers yesterday. I know that's how she feels, there is no doubt in my mind about that.
To be denied justice after being harmed by someone is as if that harm was being done all over again. But when the government is the perpetrator, that harm is compounded because with that denial of justice comes a promise of yet more injustice because a power held unaccountable is a power that begs to be repeatedly abused... and that's what happens when the police get away with a wrong such as this... it only encourages more abuse.
After all, if it were a group of civilians who fired off 50 shots that murdered one and left two others wounded and they put forth the excuse that they thought the unarmed men they repeatedly fired upon were armed they would have been convicted. To apply a different standard of justice upon the enforcers of justice is an injustice to us all... and it certainly feels like murder to Miss Bell, and it feels like murder to me.
For a minute, try to imagine if you were unjustly harmed by the police and they were given a free pass, how could you ever feel safe again knowing that the people who harmed you would never face consequences for causing that harm... and would never face any justice if they did it to you again. Imagine that you are Miss Bell, knowing that the people who killed her husband-to-be will walk free without a care in the world... how would you feel?
I hope none of you ever know that feeling, of having to relive that pain over and over again, without hope for something good or just to come of such tragedy. It's a horrible and debilitating feeling, at times hopeless and all consuming, to know that those that harmed you are free to harm others and that there is nothing you can do about it. To know that those they harmed will never be given peace or closure... or the truth.
I've been through it, I know, I still feel that way every day, as if the wrong done to me was still being done anew, each and every day... and for Miss Bell's sake, I hope that they do not kill Sean Bell again in another miscarriage of justice like they did yesterday...
I pray the family and friends of Sean Bell find justice, justice and peace. For them... and for the rest of us who are forced to suffer the injustice of police misconduct alone... alone in the kind of silence and fear that only injustice can cause.
Thursday, April 24, 2008
It appears as though the contract talks between the Seattle Police Officer's Guild and the City of Seattle have made some progress and the union's negotiators and leadership are in the process of taking the city's offer to the members for consideration.
No news on what accountability reforms have been tied to that offer, if any, but we'll keep you posted when we hear anything.
UPDATE: Looks like all the mayor's OPARP accountability recommendations are tied to this contract deal, at least per the mayor's office. The contact will also purportedly make the Seattle Police Department the highest paid in the state. Entry-level officers would make $64,312 per year and veteran officers would make $90,516 per year if the contract is finalized.
Let's just hope the rank and file officers accept the deal...
The Stranger SLOG (where officers commenting on the story are indicating that they plan on voting against the contract)
The Seattle PI
UPDATE: The Seattle Times has also put up an article about the contract breakthrough. However, they had this ominous bit to add to the discussion:
"As for police accountability, O'Neill said some language was tweaked but otherwise, "the spirit of the recommendations ... came through."
O'Neill declined to provide details as to whether Police Chief Gil Kerlikowske will be required to provide written explanations when he disagrees with the OPA director over misconduct findings — one of the panel's key recommendations.
"Will the chief be explaining more than he has [in the past]? Yes, but there are protections for officers," he said."
Because of the secretive process in place, we likely won't know exactly what recommendations the guild was able to change until the contract has been approved by SPOG members prior to the city council's vote. We certainly hope that it's not anything significant... but if the past is any guide, we'll likely still have a lot of work to do before a real trustworthy police accountability program will be put into effect because of these "tweaks".
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
Sorry for the slow posting again, I've been having a really hard time with medication for my headaches that they have to keep changing, it has really been kicking my butt but not doing a thing for the headaches themselves... they just make me feel worse overall really.
Anyway, I've been noticing a lot of traffic from people looking for resources to help them with police misconduct issues and jail abuse issues and sometimes they don't seem to hit the right pages that would give them the information they need about the frighteningly few attorneys left in Seattle that actually help people who have been abused by police and the jail.
So, I plan on making that information more prominent with some upcoming site changes as well as adding some additional links to help people who have been hurt by area cops or who have been mistreated in the King County Jail. Hopefully this will get more people the help they need to find justice... because I know how painful it is when there was nobody out there to help me.
Also, remember folks, the Seattle Police Department or some of their employees decided to put up a fake "injusticeinseattle" site to trick people into making reports of misconduct straight to them instead of here or to other legitimate misconduct resources... don't be fooled because we're not sure how they would abuse the information they received from the people who they abused once already if anyone uses that email reporting form.
Of course, constructive suggestions are ALWAYS welcome.
The case of Lynn Iszley's slow and gruesome death in the King County Jail was first cited by the US Department of Justice Civil Rights Division as one example of inadequate medical care at the King County Jail in it's investigation of that facility that ultimately slammed it for it's potentially deadly constitutional rights violations. However, while being a stark and very frightening example of a deadly lapse in the protection of the rights of those in custody by the King County Jail, his case was not the only one.
On the heels of a damning review by the King County Ombudsman into Iszley's death in custody, the case may now be the subject of a state inquest into the doctor who was the last to examine Iszley before his death. While this should be expected, the problem runs much deeper than one single doctor and the doctor in question has already resigned last year.
While we do support an inquest action and are not surprised by the jail's efforts to fight an inquest and keep it's details a secret from the public who pays their bills, we do not believe that it will lead to any significant improvements at that facility while the people who are in charge stated publicly that they do not believe such torturous deaths and conditions are a violation of anyone's civil rights.
Unfortunately, while DAJD head Holgeerts and King County Executive Sims are in charge, nothing will change there because the people of King County refuse to be outraged by what is happening in that jail... Furthermore, human rights and civil rights groups have remained quietly on the sidelines about these issues.
As this prevailingly permissive attitude towards torture prevails, county officials will not have any incentive to change a thing... So, indeed, these people will continue to suffer and die in our names... and limiting an inquest to a single doctor will only serve to produce a scapegoat to cover for the deeper systemic problems which still continue at that jail.
Friday, April 18, 2008
Thursday, April 17, 2008
It started when a reader alerted us to an "injusticeinseattle" dot com site that someone created:
But, I didn't create it and nobody told me they were doing it, so who did it was a mystery... Using WHOIS to look up who might have done this led nowhere as well because they used a proxy through godaddy.com to register the domain name:
So, I posted about it and it made a lot of people curious, especially because of the disclaimer at the bottom:
After all, why use the phrase "not necessarily" if you weren't a member of those organizations?
So, I looked at the site again after getting another message about it and noticed a very curious tag attached to some of the links... I looked at the source code of the page (something you can do by clicking "View" then "Page Source" on your browser) and sure enough:
It really started to look like some police officers decided to try and copy this site at a similar domain name for some reason, especially with the "A page to support to officers of the Seattle Police Department" bit.
At the least we think that it's an underhanded attempt to siphon off the traffic to this site and keep people from reading about cases of police misconduct. But with the addition of an email form like the one they have put up, we worry that it might also serve as a way for the SPD to keep stories of misconduct from coming to light and intimidate those who try to complain about incidents of police misconduct.
I'll keep everyone posted if I find out more. In the meantime, if anyone has some ideas as to what they were trying to accomplish or who it might be, I'm definitely all ears.
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
There's a new blog that we really encourage everyone to check out. King County Jail Watch has just started up and already they're putting up some really good content about the deplorable detention conditions in Seattle and King County as well as some great information and analysis of detentions across the US.
We fully support this author's efforts and hope that you do too!
at 11:20 PM
I think people need to read this article and understand that this man was literally slowly tortured to death in the King County Jail for nothing more than an alleged minor drug possession charge.
From the Seattle Times article:
"Two medical experts who reviewed Iszley's Jail Health Services file say caregivers overlooked or ignored symptoms that the 48-year-old inmate was in serious medical trouble the day before he died, including signs of acute dehydration and pain so severe that it left him sweating and writhing on his cell floor.
In the ombudsman's report, the experts found that the jail's medical staff failed to act on Iszley's escalating symptoms after he was booked into jail on July 16 for a minor drug-possession charge. He was treated with Motrin — a drug one of the experts said was inappropriate in a case of severe abdominal pain — and given oral fluids that he could not hold down as his heart rate soared above 130 beats per minute and his blood pressure dropped.
An autopsy found nearly two-thirds of a gallon of fecal matter had leaked into his abdomen through the ulcer, causing an infection that killed him.
"From an outside observer perspective is [sic] appears to me that they let this man suffer and did nothing," wrote Dr. Lori Kohler, the director of the Correctional Medicine Consultation Network and a professor of clinical family and community medicine at the University of California, San Francisco.
"It is unlikely that they would tolerate this kind of agony in a friend or family member," Kohler wrote of Iszley's three days of documented suffering in the jail. "His misery is quite obvious."
Iszley's mother, Lois Clayton of Seattle, called the ombudsman's findings shocking. She said she didn't realize how long her son had been denied treatment.
"I think it shows they just didn't pay any attention to him," she said this morning. "They just let him suffer.""
People either don't seem to believe me, (or maybe they support detainee torture), that the King County Jail intentionally lets detainees suffer and withholds treatment intentionally. In my case I know they let me suffer intentionally, in others I think it's also possible that they let them suffer or misdiagnose because they feel they can't be bothered or don't really listen to the symptoms being presented.
I survived that place by the grace of god I think, as they ignored my symptoms of brain damage when I told them I had lost consciousness, convulsed, when my blood pressure kept dropping, when I couldn't eat for weeks, and when I was so pale the other detainees were sure I was going to die... But this person didn't, he was sentenced to death by torture.
Where are all those Seattle citizens that packed the King County Council chamber to protest the treatment of animals in the King County Shelters? Apparently they can't be bothered to care about humans being mistreated in their jail and many even seem to like the idea of pre-trial detainees being tortured in their name... as became apparent when I tried to distribute flyers about jail issues at an ACLU Guantanamo protest and was screamed at by protesters who were, oddly, supposedly protesting against torture.
Where's the press? The blogs? The local "progressive" independent weekly papers and blogs ignored this story just as they ignored it when the DOJ investigation ripped into the King County Jail last year for the deadly civil rights violations that were going on in there. Seems they also love torture so long as it's not happening in a third-world country or in Cuba.
Irregardless, this poor man was killed, in a very slow and agonizing fashion, by the King County Jail. I might be the only one in Seattle who cares, but I hope this poor man's soul has found peace and I have only the deepest sympathy for his family and those who knew him. I am profoundly sorry that this man suffered so for no good reason... lord knows I've been trying to stop the needless suffering and deaths occurring in that hellish place and catching hell for it.
Monday, April 14, 2008
Catch 22, those impossible situations where you are damned if you do and damned if you don’t. I find myself in several of them because of this site and because of what happened to me last year.
For example, the lawyers I talk to about my case tell me that I wouldn’t have a case if I hadn’t been injured, but the nature of my injuries makes it harder to press a case because it is a traumatic brain injury… which means my own testimony is unreliable. It’s a Catch-22 when you'll never get justice for the harm done to you, just because you were harmed.
As for the site itself, it’s not something I want to do, it’s not an enjoyable thing to write about the bad things that police do because you become a target for those police who do bad things and the police who don’t do bad things take what you say personally even though it’s not about them. It’s a Catch-22, you can’t criticize bad cops because everyone assumes you’re criticizing all cops.
Furthermore, when you take the position that I do, that all cops aren’t bad and that sometimes people go overboard accusing them of bad things, the same people who would normally support you turn against you, meanwhile those that support police brutality still hate you for writing about the really bad things they do even when you are reasonable about it. It’s a Catch-22 when you're called unfair by everyone when try to be fair to everyone.
It gets to the point that I don’t want to do this, every time I see a visitor from the City of Seattle network my chest tightens up and I shake, when I get a comment it gets hard for me to breathe because I don’t know if it’s going to be another nasty message from a cop… I want to break down when someone says I should expect this, that I deserve to be abused for what I write... But, the next moment I’ll see someone do a desperate search through my police misconduct resource links or when someone sends me a story about how they were abused and ask me what they should do… then I know I can’t shut it down, it would be wrong of me to take this resource away from those people even though it feels like it’s killing me… It’s a Catch-22 when you are threatened with harm by people when you try to help people that they hurt.
This, I suppose, brings me to my last Catch-22… I was permanently harmed by the police and corrections officers for trying to do the right thing by breaking up a fight. In fact, I’ve been up front about it and the fact that my injuries include permanent brain damage and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder that was caused by those events last year… Apparently, to most people, this means that anytime I react to a harassing message from an officer my reaction is invalidated because of the injuries and trauma caused to me by police officers… It’s a Catch-22 when the same people who hurt you have a free pass to keep traumatizing you just because they hurt you in the first place.
Life… it’s full of Catch-22s. All we can do about them is analyze them to figure out which option does the least harm when we act upon what life has thrown at us. I sleep at night because I know I’ve made the right choice, I feel good about the good I do for others even though I’m being punished for it and so many people hate me for it… I suppose it’s some test by god or just the way of the world, to be punished over and over for doing what is right, just like before…
It’s a Catch-22 when you are expected to do what is wrong and ignore the suffering of others; punished when you do what is right and try to help others instead. If that’s just how it is, if that’s what I should expect for doing this… well, so be it.
After all, how can I ever expect others to do what is right when I won't do what is right too. I couldn't live in a world where I couldn't have that expectation, and that expectation has to start with myself. That... is not a catch-22... so I'll stick with that.
Well, some people kindly let me know that, as presented, there are too many details unrelated to the actual threat. My fault, and I apologise for that, I included the threats to have the site taken down in with the threats against me personally and that only added to the confusion.
So, here's what I've pieced together without the events related to the threats to shut the site down:
03/19/08 – We receive the following email from someone who addresses me by name and suggests that he has “inside information” that he will give me if I agree to meet him in person. While we're suspicious about the request for a private meeting and ask around about the pseudonym, we reply requesting more information. The sender's IP address is recorded as well by matching the email timestamp with the site log. (however, the poster from this address has repeatedly sent intimidating comments to the site using the same IP address, as will be shown later.)
03/19/08 - Posted in "Cops Everywhere, they Lurves Us" – On the same day as the suspicious email, a Chicago Police blog posts a link to our site, encouraging fellow police officers to send harassing messages to this site.
03/25/08 - Posted under "About Internet Anonymity" – After ignoring several innocuous, but harassing, comments one arrives that directly threatens to kill me if I ever come to Chicago which seems to also reference my story. This is pretty frightening for us since we've been making plans to move to Chicago for months, we scrapped those plans as a result.
03/30/08 - Posted under "About Those Threats" – While still trying to figure out why police officers thousands of miles away would care enough about a blog that details abuses in Seattle, we spot traffic from the Seattle.gov network that is corresponding directly with traffic that came from the Chicago police blog. This raises the possibility that the attacks from Chicago were directed from an officer in Seattle.
04/06/08 – In response to a post that suggested the city of Seattle should not agree to give officers pay raises until they agree to oversight and accountability reforms, the same person who sent the email on 03/19/08 (above) angerly posted that I should thank the detective who gave up the exculpatory video evidence that resulted in all charges being dropped against me in 01/2007, insinuating that I owe my freedom to him and not the fact that I was innocent and that video evidence proved it. The only reason we can think of for someone who wanted to meet in private to be angry about a post like that would be if that person were a cop... That means the earlier request for a private meeting was likely meant to lure me someplace for a beating by that officer and his friends. (the same person still sends me harassing messages from the same IP address to this day, as recent as 05/17/08.)
Unfortunately, there isn't much I can do about these events. While I consider them threatening and they do make me feel very afraid, others think I should expect or even deserve the threats or worse because I speak out about police brutality and detainee abuse. But, just in case something does happen to me, I figure it is better to be safe than sorry and keep the information public anyway.
In the least, I think any reasonable person would agree that it is disturbing to see so many officers attempt to intimidate and harass someone, just for speaking out. This is supposed to be a free country, after all, but I suppose that may be my naivete for thinking the police would respect that and act professionally about it.
But, hey, I might be wrong about that.
*updated 19:35, 04/14/08
Sunday, April 13, 2008
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.
Saturday, April 12, 2008
Not too long ago, before we came to Seattle, things were pretty bad for us. I had lost my job, my wife was too ill to work, one of our sons had died of a congenital defect called Potters Syndrome (Bilateral Renal Agenisis), and we were evicted from our home because we had to make a choice between feeding our children and paying the rent... and there were days that my wife and I didn't eat, just to make sure our sons did.
Needless to say, we traveled around a lot as I chased temporary jobs in several different states until we ended up here. While we still have our struggles, we're doing better and we want to help others who might be in a similar position as we used to be.
We know that childhood hunger in the US is real, it happens, and now there are things we can do to help prevent it. To help with that goal, we have pledged to participate in The Great American Bake Sale and send proceeds to the Share Our Strength organization as part of the effort to end childhood hunger in the US. A program like this allows people like us, who wouldn't be able to give much ourselves, to do something that can increase awareness of a problem while donating more than we normally could to help solve that problem.
While we can't tell you when or where our own bake sale will occur, because then the police would likely harass us or shut us down because of what we write about, we do encourage you to start your own bake sale or give in other ways by visiting the Share Our Strength website at http://www.strength.org/.
Together, we can make a difference! So please help out however you can, if we can do this, you most certainly can.
Well, the bake sale has ended... We made about a third as much as we had hoped, but we will still be sending about $100.00 to help in the effort to end childhood hunger. The orange cookies sold out, but there's still lot's of soft chocolate chip cookies, pumpkin cookies, greek butter cookies, chai cupcakes, lavender flower cupcakes, and mint chocolate chip cupcakes left over. But they won't keep much longer because it was so warm today.
We thank all the people who bought the baked goods, especially those who bought one cookie or cupcake then came back and asked for more! Maybe next time, after we move far away from here, we'll do better since then we can actually advertise the sale.
Thanks again to all who helped!
Thursday, April 10, 2008
Knoxville Jail guard beating a mentally ill
jail detainee while restrained in a "Devil's Chair".
I had comment in response to this post today. He stopped by to tell me that he believes me and to tell me about his story... and then all he asks is this:
I'd love a link from your website...just to help make people aware...and I'd be glad to link to you too...it's horrible...it needs to be stopped...you are helping...
You see, he's a victim of torture and was strapped into one of the infamous "Devil's Chairs" just like the ones used here in the King County Jail and many other jails in the nation. This restraint chair has been abused by corrections officers all over the nation, as is well documented here, and is still in use today in many county facilities, jails, and juvenile detention centers, where prisoners are still tortured as they were in King County, by guards pepperspraying inmates and then strapping them in without decontaminating them, beating them, or worse... many have even died from this kind of sadistic torture, I'm sad to say.
...and it saddened me to read this person's difficult attempts to find justice after he had been the victim of this devil's chair in Minneapolis.
All he wants from me is a link, I wish I could give him more than that. I wish I could give him justice, give him peace, do more than tell him I believe him and that I know how it feels to relive that torture every day in your mind... day after day. I know how it feels to be denied justice, to feel so isolated just for being tortured in a nation that decries torture occuring in other nations but turns a blind eye to those they torture here within their own borders.
I wish him luck, I wish him peace, and I sincerely hope he finds justice someday... and I hope there is solace in knowing that he is not alone, even though I know he wishes, as do I, that there weren't others who have been through what we have been through... who have been tortured in America and ignored, villified, threatened, and left without a way to find peace... just because we are victims of torture who dare to speak out.
Hopefully, together, we may yet stop the torture... yet for now, we can only hope and keep trying. And I hope that my words bring him some small solace at least.
Here is his site:
Please help us, before you become us... Stop the torture now.
Wednesday, April 9, 2008
Last week we posted information on the first of a supposed series of hearings on police misconduct being sponsored by the NAACP.
We've been trying to get more information on the hearings, perhaps a schedule or more details but the local NAACP site is pretty outdated and it appears as though the contact information is no longer valid as the requests we made went unanswered.
So, if any of you know how we can contact the local chapter of the NAACP or has information to share about these community hearings please let us know.
Monday, April 7, 2008
Looks like we're having some technical difficulties today. I couldn't even access my account nor the site earlier and it looked like maybe some of the people who threatened to have Blogger, (owned by Google), kill this site had made good on the threat.
Access is still sporatic and I'm still waiting on Google to let me know what happened exactly... But in case we go down for good, I'll try to put up a new site as soon as possible.
Also, for those who contact me, try my secondary account here in case they kill my GMail account again.
Saturday, April 5, 2008
Friday, April 4, 2008
The Seattle Police Officer's Union and their supporters use the same refrain over and over again in their battle against accountability reforms: that the SPD doesn't pay enough to keep officers and that they cannot recruit officers because the city wants to improve the police accountability system. They argue that demanding more accountability and less misconduct will somehow scare away good recruits and that offering more money instead will somehow convince bad officers to behave better.
Some journalists agree with the guild and have put pressure on the city to inact huge pay raises and to hire more officers before trying to fix the broken accountability system at the guild's behest. This has pressured the city into considering lower standards for recruits and dropping accountability reforms just to boost ranks despite a string of public relations fiascos due to officer misconduct and brutality. Of course, it makes no sense to reward bad behavior... if it did we would give criminals cash instead of jail terms.
Well, it appears that the guild's argument hasn't reached the ears of officers elsewhere because New York police officers view Seattle as a police officer's utopia compared to their beats and are signing up by droves to make the cross-country transfer. They say the starting salary is AWESOME and that the command structure and officials support their officers MUCH MORE than NYC officials and managers do!
...and we better beware because the same problems that happened in NYC could happen here, a lowering of standards that causes more misconduct problems, which causes less support from the community, which causes labor disputes which are resolved in arbitration instead of at the bargaining table, which results in lower salaries and more distrust.
From the New York Daily News:
The pitch is simple: Seattle pays its new hires nearly twice as much as the NYPD.
And if that's not enough, they'll throw in another $5,000 to cover moving expenses...
NYPD recruits get a paltry $25,100 annual salary while they are in the academy. Their pay jumps to $32,800 after graduation and tops out at $59,588 after seven years.
Considering it costs about 20% more to live in New York City than Seattle, NYPD officers would have to earn about $80,000 to maintain the same standard of living as in Seattle.
Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly has blamed the department's starting salary for hurting recruitment. The pay scale was imposed by an arbitration panel in 2005 after the city and police union couldn't reach a deal.
Where it gets interesting is in the comments, like this one...
"What the reporter failed to mention is that the mayor and politicians actually praise the cops for their work in seattle. Here in the city the mayor shouts "Do more with less!!! Less cars, less cops, lower salary!!! BUT Keep the crime rate Low!! Oh yeah!! One last thing!!! If you take police action its up to me and the rest of the politicians to decide if you go in front of a grand jury. Our decisions depend on what side of the bed we wake up on!!!!"
...and more just like it telling the tales of NYPD officers who made the transfer and LOVE IT HERE.
Thursday, April 3, 2008
It’s been quiet this week, which could be a good thing or a bad thing. Either SPD officers are making a conscious effort to avoid misconduct during resumed contract negotiations between the city and the police guild, or they’re just getting better at covering it up since Seattle’s citizen review board is being overhauled to be more police-friendly by the guild-friendly councilmember Tim Burgess.
Otherwise, as mentioned, contract negotiations between the city and police guild are still ongoing after talks had broken down for a while over the guild’s refusal to accept all 29 recommended accountability recommendations made by the mayor’s accountability review panel and the city revealed they were willing to dole out up to 33% raises in exchange for the reforms.
Also, negotiations between King County and the US Department of Justice are ongoing over whether the county will comply and stop the deadly constitutional rights violations that are ongoing in their jail. Meanwhile, the conditions in their animal shelters gets more press than the conditions in their jail.
On a personal front… the doctors at the University of Washington Traumatic Brain Injury Rehabilitation Clinic have been really going above and beyond trying to figure out how to get me into speech therapy and vocational rehabilitation without insurance. They’ve been great, but it is still difficult to accept when they tell me that I may have to consider a different career because of my injuries.
I really was very good at what I did, my intelligence was everything to me and my career let me have a creative outlet for it… and to have so much of that taken away from me without the people responsible for it apologizing or accepting responsibility is something that I have a hard time dealing with. Of course, having the police and their friends harass me on top of having to deal with the permanent harm they helped cause doesn't help much. So that might be why I’ve been writing less lately as well, and if so, I apologize for that.
Until next time, stay safe out there.
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