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Sunday, April 12, 2009

Injustice In Seattle Twitter Project Update

-Updated 9:17 04/14/09
Thought I would give everyone a quick update on the Twitter NewsFeed project.

If you didn't know, I'm using Twitter as a means to aggregate all news stories about police misconduct in order to have a handy reference to compile statistics on just how much police misconduct occurs in the US, where it occurs most often, and what types of police misconduct are most prevalent.

As a byproduct of this effort, you can follow our National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Twitter @Injust_Seattle in order to see how many stories about police misconduct are reported across the US each day... and the number of stories each day are much more than even I expected.

Before I give a peek at what numbers I've gathered so far this month, I want to thank some of the people who have been really supportive of this effort, they've given me the encouragement that helps me keep it going even though it's a lot of work each day.

Radley Balko at The Agitator was the first to actually mention the feed, that meant a lot, always a fan of his great work, thanks! A big thanks to Carlos Miller over at Photography Is Not A Crime for using the feed on his site, I didn't think that other sites would try to use it that way, what a great idea! Also, thanks to TJICistan for suggesting that people can get the feed via RSS if they don't like using Twitter.

On the legal side,Scott at Simple Justice gave it a big vote of confidence and this was seconded by Rick Horowitz at Fresno Criminal Defense! I really can't say how much support I've gotten from the criminal defense legal community, it's been overwhelming.

But, a big surprise, I even got some rare local votes of confidence for once! @WAKX who works at KBCS gave it some Twitter support and Lee over at HorsesAss even had something nice to say about the site and the Twitter Feed!!! Thanks guys!!!

(if I forgot anyone, I'm sorry, just remind me and I'll give you a shout out, I've been overwhelmed with all the support this effort has gotten, I'm very appreciative of it, it means a lot!)

So, this is what April is shaping up so far as the statistics are concerned... Each of these are individual and unique cases, duplicates and updates of original stories have been removed from the stats, so these are each stories that came out during the first 11 days of April:

In the first 11 days of April, 2009:
195 Cases were reported in the news.
146 Individual officers were convicted, arrested, charged, jailed, accused of, or sued for misconduct.
16 Different Police Chiefs were convicted, arrested, charged, jailed, accused of, or sued for misconduct.

That boils down to:
17.72 cases of misconduct reported in the news each day.
532 cases would be reported in the month of April if the trend continues.
6468 cases per year would be reported if the average holds...

Which would mean that there is a reported act of police misconduct every 81 minutes in the USA if the average is sustained.

Of the cases reported, the most common types of misconduct were:
1. 36 were reports of police brutality
2. 18 were reports of domestic violence
3. 17 were reports of criminal sex acts such as rape and child molestation
4. 12 were officer involved shooting incidents
5. 12 were cases of false arrest, wrongful detention, or wrongful deportation

The worst states for police misconduct in the first 11 days of April and number of cases in each:
1. Illinois with 16 cases
2. Pennsylvania with 15 cases.
3. Texas with 15 cases.
4. New York with 14 cases.
5. Florida with 13 cases.
(Washington state had 5 cases)

The worst cities for police misconduct in the beginning of April were:
1. Chicago - 8
2. Dallas - 5
3. Philadelphia - 5
4. Minneapolis - 4
5. Denver - 4
(Seattle had 2 cases)

I'll have more statistics after the end of the month and that will be followed up each month with up-to-date tallies. I'm hoping to do more with it, but it's been a lot of work so far so I'll need to find some better ways to compile the information I collect before I do anything like detail officer names or anything like that.

So, stay tuned, and let me know what you think!



Anonymous said...

"the number of stories each day are much more than even I expected" It is shocking isn't it? And just when you think you've read it all, there will another story that tops it. Here are some opinions on what's wrong with the boys in blue.

One shrinks talks about cops and corruption:; a MUST READ site that seems to describe a lot of cops:
1)is self-opinionated and displays arrogance, audacity, a superior sense of entitlement...untouchability
2)has a deep-seated contempt of clients in contrast to his or her professed compassion
3)is a control freak and has a compulsive need to control everyone and everything you say, do, think and believe...but aggressively maintains the right to talk (usually unknowledgeably) about anything they choose; serial bullies despise anyone who enables others to see through their deception and their mask of sanity
4)undermines and destroys anyone who the bully perceives to be an adversary, a potential threat, or who can see through the bully's mask.
5) holds deep prejudices...

"Becoming Evil: How Ordinary People Commit Genocide and Mass Killing". Psychologist Waller uncovers the internal and external factors that can lead people to commit extraordinary acts of evil. Since police forces attract a lot of criminals: "Inside the Criminal Mind" by Stanton E Samenow, Ph.D.

"Cop Out" by Robert Davis

By the time of his high school graduation Robert had become proficient in stealing and stripping cars...Two New Orleans police officers, influenced Robert to become a recruit for the police academy. Corruption within the police department and the example of "bad" cops on the force gave Robert a false sense of his core values and an incident arose...

Karl Mansoor said...

This is an important task in which you are engaged, however, Radley Balko states he does not recommend it for anybody with high blood pressure.

...when I was still at the police department my blood pressure was climbing steadily.

It dropped back down to healthy levels within a year of leaving.

Just looking at a fraction of all of the reported misconduct gets my blood boiling again...

...but at least I don't have be right in the midst of it anymore.

I'm glad you are keeping track of these statistics!

Packratt said...


That's true... I wanted to go through the articles I've Twittered so far and pick the worst, but that's proving difficult because, well, they are all horribly bad.

As for the links, those are great, thank you so much for sharing those!

Packratt said...

Karl, yeah, it's not fun for me to do... and I doubt many are going to want to read the feed for long... but nobody is collecting these statistics and the government isn't going to try.

Sure, compiling the numbers from media stories will miss a lot of the incidents that go unreported, but I can't think of an easy way around that since I can't afford to get some pollster company to go out there and get that info.

Most police departments still don't share that info, even when they do bother to collect it, or even investigate reports of abuses.

Hopefully it will help prove to people just how bad this problem really is.

Thanks for the support Karl, I appreciate it!

Anonymous said...

What a disgrace you are, running down the fine men and women who protect you in law enforcement. They would give their lives to help you, and all you do is spit on them.

Packratt said...

Ah... but who is the bigger disgrace?

The person who merely points out what has been reported in the news or the police officers who do things that end up in the news that brings disgrace upon themselves and their peers?

I'm deeply sorry for your misconceptions regarding the source of the problems with police misconduct, but thank you for your misplaced comment none the less.

Anonymous said...

"What a disgrace...running down the fine men and women who protect you...They would give their lives to help you, and all you do is spit on them."

Typical cop propaganda which is FAR from the truth. No, cops will not risk their lives for a citizen, they would just as soon take a life if they "feel threatened." Read about the recent police shooting in Chino, CA where an innocent bystander was shot.

Not even a bulldog is safe from a trigger happy pig. There are many more stories just like this one:

The mentally ill are a favorite target of cops.*/

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