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Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Did the King County Sheriff use this site to make a press release?

Visits from the King County Government network on 03/10/09

It was a weird day yesterday... Now, I'm not sure about this so I'll leave it up to the readers, but it almost seemed like the King County Sheriff's Office used one of my posts and comments as a basis for a press release.

Take a look at this press release given to local news outlets late in the morning yesterday, but only got posted to the Seattle Post Intelligencer's 911 blog and local TV station Q13Fox. Make note of everything after the released timeline...

Then take a look at what I posted yesterday about a proposed protest against the King County Sheriff along with my comments in response to a reader's question...

Is it just me, or did the King County Sheriff's Department just use a post from my site, a site opposed to police misconduct and detainee abuse, as a basis for their press release yesterday that defended their actions in response to one of their deputies being accused of assaulting a 15-year-old girl? After all, they both make the same points, just worded differently, and it came out just a bit after a barrage of visits from the King County Government's network.

Anyway, I honestly don't know what to think about that... because, well, it would be quite ironic if it were the case. Don't you think?

PS: Oh, and as for that protest, I don't even know if they went through with it because, as I unfortunately predicted, absolutely nobody in the local media covered it. Hopefully there's a bit more notice if they do something like that again.


Karl Mansoor said...

Maybe you have more influence than you realize.

Packratt said...

Oh, I'm pretty sure that's not the case, but thanks for the vote of confidence anyway.

It's not really a big deal. I just thought the idea that they might have relied on something posted here to address their critics was funny...

but I guess I have a weird sense of humor that way.

Thanks for the comment Karl!

Five Before Midnight said...

I think you do have more influence. It's interesting what can arise from blogging especially on this issue involving law enforcement and it does kind of make you wonder sometimes.

Police chiefs and sheriffs are funny creatures though. I've had the chief whisper in my ear in passing that he agrees with what I'm writing but can't say more and then I'll run across some deposition on a lawsuit filed by an officer and he's saying that he'd put such-and-such officer on a special assignment but the certain blogger would find about it and he's never hear or read the end of it. Double speak anyone?

The latest are these accusations about something an alleged police commissioner said that is now being used in the 11th hour of course to stop the police commission from doing its own investigations of incustody deaths. The chief claimed it was in the "local media" but there's no record of the commissioner making any such statement in the press. So either he's making it up (which is possible) or he cribbed something off my site. I vaguely remember such a comment made but if it's being used, it's horribly out of context.

So yeah, they do use blogs for their own purposes just like anything else they can grab. There's not much you can do about it and it's important to keep getting the information out there because a lot of people will take it in and use it to empower themselves which is one thing that makes blogging worthwhile.

Blog is a four-letter word in more ways than one. And police management personnel are aware when there's one out there. The police unions are aware too (and I've had excerpts of mine posted on a political Web site they used to have when I was writing about city employees they were upset with) and I've gone to meetings where 400 officers show up and one of them's waving a posting that he emailed out to all of them. But in that case, it was actually something they liked.

If you have a LE site, always assume that Internal Affairs will be monitoring it. They're looking for their own people.

The agencies are often afraid of embarrassment, exposure and leaks not necessarily in that order. But the fact is I think, that there's some folks in a LE agency that are constantly looking for sites writing about them. I'm pretty sure that's how mine got discovered.

But you're doing a great job with your site so keep it up!

Five Before Midnight said...

Speaking of interesting activity, I got a search for "Paul Bugar" from the County of San Bernardino where he currently works for the Sheriff's Department. He was one of four officers in my city fired for shooting and killing Tyisha Miller in 1998. He now works as a crime analyst.

I've had a lot of searches for tasers later from Asia, including the X26. Not sure why.

Packratt said...

Thanks FBM,

I'm not sure if it was because we're regularly monitored, which I know this site is. I think it might be more that I was the only one to put out information about that rally, nobody else did, not even on Indymedia or the other sites where such things are announced.

The KCSO probably just stumbled here after hearing rumors about a rally, since I was the only one who posted and the rest was history. But, I guess that goes back to my criticism of that rally, if something else was posted elsewhere about it, they might have issued a different release.

As for everything else, nobody from the area talks to me about anything really. Every now and then someone with a legal blog or other activist blog will link here or send an email about a story.

But otherwise, you must be doing a much better job than I am if you have officials and police officers actually talking to you about what you post.

In all regards, I'm not popular here in Seattle, most of my traffic comes from outside the city. Even LE related traffic.

Thanks again, and keep up the great work!

Anonymous said...

"In all regards, I'm not popular here in Seattle, most of my traffic comes from outside the city."

Why is this? Imo this blog is very well written, comprehensive, and the overall design and graphics are first class. Are you doing everything you can to promote this site locally? People need to be warned, and I really think most would find this site both interesting and informative.

Packratt said...

Well, thank you for the kind words, I appreciate it.

As for the why, I think it's a broad mix of issues. First is the very diverse demographics at play in Seattle which is a mix of "old liberal Seattle" and "new tech-influx conservative" Seattle.

The newer resident-base just takes the authoritarianism stance that police do no wrong and when they do wrong it's for a good cause so it's excusable... after all, it's done to protect them and their wealth from "bad guys", so what if a few innocent people get hurt in the process?

The older set, I think, just doesn't want to believe that the "liberals" they elected would allow the kinds of abuses that are reported so regularly here in this area. They get really defensive when evidence points to a lack of desire to address these problems by the people they elected, I think because it points to a failure in the liberal ideology to accept that their guys can partake in the abuse of civil and human rights just as much as a conservative can.

But, that's just conjecture... There are those who support my efforts here, but mostly those tend to be defense attorneys who have seen the evidence of abuses first hand and all too often to make believe it doesn't happen.

But, surprisingly, the civil rights lawyers here all hate me with a passion... not sure why, but it could be because I strongly advocate that people shop around and carefully choose who they want to represent them... also I think it's because a lot of them crave the spotlight and media attention they get all the time and think I'm out to take all their spotlights.

But, as long as someone reads this every now and then, I still have hope that change is possible. Traffic has been growing steadily and, even if that growth isn't in Seattle, it's still a sign that more people are getting informed.

One lawyer recently told me I should change the site from "Injustice In Seattle" to just "Injustice" or something because I cover so many different stories... maybe he was right...

Anyway... thanks for the comment and the kind words, I appreciate it!

Anonymous said...

You would think they would know there's a problem when a 100 lb women gets her face slammed into the concrete for offering free legal advice to her friend.

Is there anything readers can do to help this site show up in the top results for 'police abuse' searches?

Packratt said...

Ah, I assume that you're talking about the Brittany Beaulieu case where a Seattle Police officer was given a free pass for slamming a much smaller woman to the ground face-first when she tried to give her friend legal advice during a DUI stop.

Chief Kerlikowske (our new drug czar) overturned the investigative recommendations against that officer to give him a free pass and the city later settled the lawsuit brought by her over that case. One wonders what kind of chief Mayor Nickels is going to replace him with after he always defended how problem officers were handled in Seattle too?

In any case, as for search rankings, I'd imagine that's a function of how many other sites link to here and how many people use those links. But, to tell the truth, I'd rather let the site earn it's ranking on it's merits more than anything else.

If people find it useful and helpful they will come, if they don't... well then I'm not doing my job well enough and the site doesn't deserve to exist. I'll do my best, but if that's not good enough, then someone else who does better deserves to have my support more than anything else.

All the best, and thanks for the thoughtful comment!

Anonymous said...

Thank-you for all your good work; your ripples will someday be waves.

The Sheeple are slowly waking up.

I wish you only the best in all your efforts!

Tom rider said...

this may be a little late but i wouldn't be surprized they don't like to do their jobs so if you already typed something i sure they would not hesitate to plagerize in my case they just did not want to look for my wife who was missing instead they investigated an account i told them she didn't have access to
and when i bought gas they told me she accessed the account in their deriliction of duty my wife spent eight days traped in her car while they ate doughnuts

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