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Friday, May 1, 2009

National Police Misconduct Reporting Project - April 2009 Statistics

PLEASE NOTE: The National Police Misconduct Statistics and Reporting Project and all associated police misconduct statistical reports have been moved to


Anonymous said...

PLEASE do not stop this study. It's more important than you know.

Perhaps you can enlist the support of the CATO institute?

We are working several court cases now which involve serious police misconduct.

This data is tremendously useful in proving that this is not a matter of "a few rogues" but is in fact a sanctioned part of the PD culture which must be stopped.

sunny said...

I absolutely agree with the above commentator. I also think that while data is crucial to show that these are not isolated problems I think that the accessibility of the data is also a large concern. The google maps mashup is a great idea but perhaps an infographic would be good too.. people love infographics.

I wonder if they might be able to do it. another idea is to get a graphic design student to do it for you.

Packratt said...

Anonymous, thanks for the suggestion.

I really don't think anyone would seriously want to underwrite or help with my efforts. It's a nice thought, but I'm not going to waste time daydreaming about it when all I can show to any potentially interested party are some very lackluster traffic stats...

In other words, nobody will be interested in helping with this effort if I can't show that there is any interest in such an effort at large.


Thanks for the suggestion, if I decide to continue with the project I'll consider porting into an infographic... but for now, I'm still trying to figure out if it's worthwhile to continue gathering the info, let alone generating output for it.

katy sheehan said...

Wow. Thank you so much for doing this! Isn't there some organization out there that could help you with this?

Packratt said...


There aren't any that I'm aware of, most of the people who report on this subject or advocate for it's victims are individuals, not organizations. The only one I can think might be close to it is the ACLU, and they don't like me much. ;)

Thanks for the support!

Anonymous said...

"Automation just isn't possible. There are no standardized terms for police abuse, no common keywords that a bot could be built to sort through all the stories each day to find the pertinent ones. It's something that has to be done manually. Also, it has to be done often, several times a day in fact because search results get stale and drop off... also, many news sites have taken to moving their stories off to pay-to-view archives quickly, so I have to catch each story as quickly as possible before it's lost"

THANK YOU for doing this. Like the first poster said, it is more important then any of us know. Good grief how many hours does the Twitter feed take? I was under the impression you had the news reports fed directly to you and the real work was putting them on Twitter. Now I understand why you were discouraged by low numbers. I am sorry to hear that there's nothing? that can be done to make the process any easier.

Packratt said...

Thank you for the kind words, anon, I haven't really bothered to track how much time each day it takes me to manage the Twitter feed.

I tend to do it whenever I would have normally taken a breather from what I was working on or during any other "in-between" moment, like when our youngest son is sleeping or when things are quiet.

It's cut into my blog efforts a bit more than anything else. But otherwise, I'll keep at it so long as others keep reading it and finding it useful.

So thank you for reading it and finding it useful!

Carlos Miller said...

Why doesn't the ACLU like you?

I don't think they like me either.

Packratt said...

You know, Carlos, I've thought about it and have come up with two possible answers to that, since I too can only guess as to the reason... and I would imagine that it's the same reason none of the civil rights lawyers around here like me either.

1. hogging the limelight: they have egos, like anyone does, and worry that the press might come to us instead of them to talk about civil rights or police misconduct issues. Of course, I actually prefer to point press inquiries elsewhere since I don't do well with interviews.

2. Exposing faults: one of the things that becomes apparent as you report on story after story of victims not being able to seek justice is that you find out just how little the ACLU actually does in comparison to the myths about what they do.

For example, when I was mistreated in jail everyone was like, "Oh, the ACLU will jump on your case!" But the reality is that the ACLU handles very few cases each year, sometimes none at all on a local level. They are very picky, and when they go after a case it appears to be mostly based on the amount of publicity they can get from it.

Mind you, that's not necessarily a bad thing, it's important to draw attention to the issue, especially if you're so understaffed or split off in so many directions that that's the best you can do... but I tend to think they don't like that fact getting out in the open much.

Those are my two guesses... Do you have any theories?

Anonymous said...

Great work! Please keep it up :)

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