This site is devoted to increasing public awareness of police misconduct and detainee abuse in addition to providing support for victims of police misconduct and detainee abuse. If you or someone you know have witnessed abuse or have been abused, please let us know.
Packratt@injusticeinseattle.org

SITE CLOSURE NOTICE

This site is an archive of older content.

Please feel free to visit our new effort at www.InjusticeEverywhere.com

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Monday, May 11, 2009

Site News - Changing Scope

Based on the feedback I've received about the site, and based on the lack of support locally here in Seattle for nearly two years, I'm planning on ditching the "Injustice In Seattle" site and transferring to a new site. The support I've been getting nationally for the news feed project has really shown me that this is the direction I should be going instead of wasting time trying to fix things here in Seattle.

The new site will be focused on national issues of police misconduct, gathering statistics on police misconduct, and research into the underlying causes of police misconduct as well as possible solutions for the problem on a wider scale.

UPDATE: The new site is now live, thanks for reading!
www.InjusticeEverywhere.com

Thanks!

PS: Nothing personal to the 4 or 5 people in Seattle that actually liked what I was doing for this city. Seriously, thanks for the support, but take a look around the site... anytime I do a local story there's no comments, no interest, no traffic, no discussion on other sites... but the national stories I've done at least get some response and interest. I'm not here to talk to walls, I'm here to make a difference.

28 comments:

Karl Mansoor said...

Do you mean resilient towards causing a site to crash or more resilient towards open coercion directed towards you and/or the host to take the site down?

Or both?

Packratt said...

More the second since those are things that I'm more certain that they've tried to do here and elsewhere.

I've not seen any evidence that any police officers or organizations have ever tried illicit tactics to take down a site they didn't like... at least not yet.

Thanks!

Ganja Blue said...

https://www.nearlyfreespeech.net/ Has an awesome privacy policy. There hosting is very affordable, however they do lack a lot of the bells and whistles you get by having a dedicated server. Updating Wordpress is a pain because they have PHP running in safe-mode. They also offer private domain registrations. I've been a little disappointed with the long page load times, but I haven't heard anyone else complain. The annoyances are a small price to pay for the guarantee of privacy.

The big thing is to not use a big telcom to host your site, they will be the quickest to shut you off if you rub the wrong person the wrong way.

Vinnie said...

I can't help with the tech side but how about "bad cop! No donut!"? Ok Seriously how about higher standards? or looking for leaks in the blue wall of silence.

Anonymous said...

I really like the Injustice name. It's unique and stands out amongst other police site names. The problem is all the other decent names--police abuse, cop watch, police crimes, etc. are already taken. Another thing: all those other names have a negative connotation. The name change makes me nervous because the subject matter is bad enough. The economy and life in general are depressing enough for the average Joe. With a negative title (take Police crimes, for example) many people might skip yet another site where people "whine" about how bad the cops are. They don't know that what they don't know can hurt them. And they need to know.

Is it possible to keep the Injustice in Seattle title and logo (!) but add a strong subtitle that would show up better in the search results? For example under Injustice in Seattle "Police abuse and/or misconduct reports from around the country" or something? I don't know...just thinking out loud here.

Agorist said...

If you're looking to stay in the blogspot realm, I have the domain "unjustforces.blogspot.com". I tried to do what you do, until I found your site and realized that you do it much better than I. I think it's at least a decent name, and I'd be glad to transfer the name to you.

Anonymous said...

I think the lack of response on the local stories is not necessarily a sign of failure. I know I've learned just how aggressively the system protects the bad ones by reading here. Example: the five layers of police protection article. Some of the details are boring, so there's not a whole lot to say. The one advantage to having a local focus is that readers get to see just how entrenched the corruption is and how many other factors and wonderful people work to keep it corrupt. It hit home for me and I don't live in WA. When you broaden the focus (like police crimes, what happened to..) you risk making each bad act look like an isolated incident or just another in a string of bad actions by cops and what can we do about it anyway?

Anonymous said...

I love comedy and humor but with some of the stuff these pigs do to people I don't know if it would be appropriate.

Anonymous said...

A name change is a good idea for the twitter though. But even with the best name in the world we--anyone who cares about this issue--still need to promote it.

They can't follow it if they've never heard of it.

Packratt said...

Ganja, Thanks for the tip, they definitely look like a promising candidate!

Vinnie, Not sure how to take that, care to elaborate?

Anon1, To tell the truth, I'm debating whether or not to keep this old site up or not, so it may stay around with a post of a link to the new site and just grow stale while redirecting. Not sure yet, we'll see.

Agorist, Thank you for the very kind offer, I'll consider it, but I'm not sure if I should risk sticking with Blogspot or not. I'll let you know, thanks!

Anon2, First, thanks for reading that one, I thought it was pretty telling as well. But, as for the failure of the site, it's more than just lack of interest in the local articles, it's also some behind-the-scenes disappointments too.

One of the main things I tried to do with this site was use it as a vehicle to help victims of police misconduct and detainee abuse. There are more of them than most people know, most of their stories don't even make it on to my site at their own requests... yet they are desperately in need of both legal and emotional support, but are barred from those due to the stigma of being targeted by cops.

Yet, locally, I've found only one lawyer who helped answer some of their questions, but he's a defense lawyer, not a civil lawyer. No ACLU of Washington, no NAACP, no civil rights attorney, no counselors, nobody will help in Seattle... So these people turn to me and I try to help... but can't because I have no support.

I'm frustrated, nobody is listening in Seattle, nobody here wants to listen, and nobody wants to help all these people... and I can't even though I really want to.

That's the biggest failure of this site, especially for me as I know how it feels to be isolated and unable to find help as a victim of this... so that's why I think my talents might be better put to use on a different focus. Hopefully one that helps people more than I can do now.

Thanks for all the great feedback folks, I really truly appreciate it!

Packratt said...

Ah, sorry, two more comments came in while I was typing out the last response...

Anon3, I try to strike a balance here between highlighting the ridiculous things some cops do and then taking a serious tone on other stories. It's a delicate thing, sometimes I miss the mark, but sometimes if we don't laugh at some of it, all that's left to do is break down and cry or shake your fist in the air to no avail... I've done all that during this site's time here.

Anon4, I've sort of done that, but left the url the same for the benefit of the two bloggers out there who are using it as a newsfeed on their sites.

I guess that will have to change soon to be more effective. While I've been very impressed and thankfull for everyone's efforts getting news out about the Twitter feed, it's sort of stuck around 250... I think it can do better at informing more people, and it needs to.

Thanks!

Vinnie said...

My first suggestion was glib. What anger me the most is that there is a blue wall. Police officers have a lot of "professional courtesy" for each other, not testifying or arresting other officers, botching investigations etc. We are told that its only a few "bad apples" but the officers that cover for them are bad too.
Police are supposed to be held to a higher standard I submit that the opposite is true. Often miscreants on the force are put on administrative leave(How is that different than a vacation?) for acts that would get me prison time.
I am not anti police, I am anti criminal. No mater what jobs they hold.

Packratt said...

Vinnie, Thanks for clarifying, and I agree entirely. I think those suggestions fall closely in line with one of the other suggestions that the site name be less direct or "in-your-face" so to speak.

I think Karl Mansoor did the best in his approach in that vein with BlueMustBeTrue.com definitely a very good answer to that.

So, they're in the running. I'll post up a running tab or poll on the suggestions sometime tomorrow I think and will go from there based on feedback.

Thanks!

Anonymous said...

I think Vinnie meant having "higher standards" for police in the title of the new site. LOL they sure need higher standards. A cops higher standard of behavior is other peoples lowest.

Anonymous said...

nearly free speech would be very good for their extremely strong privacy policy. If you use alot of bandwidth you could also use nfs for html + amazon for image.

Something that could be totally awesome would be to use github sites: http://pages.github.com/ so that backup/mirroring etc could be really easily done.

Anonymous said...

"most of their stories don't even make it on to my site at their own requests... yet nobody will help in Seattle... So these people turn to me and I try to help... but can't because I have no support."

"I'm frustrated, nobody is listening in Seattle, nobody here wants to listen, and nobody wants to help all these people... and I can't even though I really want to."

I'm kind of shocked at this. How many of these stories do you get? Nobody will even lift a finger?? When you posted the story about the IT tech who says cops planted drugs on him and harassed him I was going to ask why a lawyer wouldn't even look at his case. The fact that the cop was fired gives him credability. He at least had a weak case? If conscience doesn't motivate them to fight for people you'd think money would. Lawyers are the first, last and often only defense against police lies. I know it's complicated but if they can't or won't help people who've been abused by the system what good are they?

Packratt said...

Anon1, I know, that's why it'll be in contention... and yes, higher standards would be nice, both if they had them for themselves and the general public had them for their public servants.

Anon2, The problem is that I have no idea how much bandwidth I'll be using yet... though, some of my plans might be a bit bandwidth heavy.

Hmm, I might need help planning all this out and implementing it.

Thanks!

Packratt said...

Sorry, did it again and missed a comment.

Anon, the answer to that has a lot to do with the aggressive lawyers the city pays for and the SLAPP suits the police department used to punish people who tried to sue for police misconduct. They still do it, and area lawyers, and the ACLU, are still scared to death of them.

For example, there's one in the works concerning a case where an off-duty Seattle officer shot an unarmed attorney. That attorney filed a suit against the officer and the city paid $76k for him to file a counter-suit against the attorney AND several other people who were at the scene of the incident.

Sure, the lawyer has a lawyer, but the others don't have representation, which is going to doom the lawyer's case and cost him a bundle in the counter-suit... here's why:

One of the other defendants contacted me to tell me he didn't have a lawyer and was really worried. So I tried to get him a lawyer, to no avail... so now I've heard rumors that the city's lawyers are trying to offer those other defendants a deal: change their testimonies in the civil case in exchange for being dropped from the civil suit that they can't afford lawyers for.

It's normally hard to get lawyers to help people on a pro bono or contingency basis... but when you throw in the likelihood that they'll be counter sued for helping, there is no way that they'll even think of helping.

...as for the case you mention, I think that one was the last straw for me, he's written a few more times begging for help or good news... I have none of either to give him, and I really see myself in his shoes all too easily.

Thank you for the comment.

Anonymous said...

"the city's lawyers are trying to offer those other defendants a deal: change their testimonies in the civil case in exchange for being dropped from the civil suit that they can't afford lawyers for"

Ah yes, I read about Zolt the 'crash into em if you can' motorcycle cop. What an idiot. Why don't they recognize this for the intimidation tactic that it is? If there are enough of these witnesses isn't there strength in numbers? And where is the local media in all this; they usually love the outrageous stuff. Have you heard through the grapevine that the cop is going to win this one? Also how many other cities have similar SLAP lawsuits?

Packratt said...

Yeah, that case is rife with rumors of security camera tapes disappearing mysteriously and other questionable actions occurring, like witness intimidation, during the investigation.

But, until now, just about all witness testimonies matched up, which I guess is the reason why they've opted for this aggressive tactic... and it's working apparently... but I haven't heard anything new about the case lately.

The local media outlet that did the most reporting on it has reduced staff and moved to an all on-line format. The only person reporting police issues is their old police beat reporter who has a serious bias in favor of cops.

SLAPP tactics are still in use elsewhere... there were at least two cases cited in the national news feed over the last month, but I'm too tired to pull them up at the moment.

But... most of the time you see or read about a story of a cop suing a civilian for defamation, your seeing a SLAPP suit in progress, especially when the cop isn't paying for it his or her self.

Anonymous said...

http://mayfirst.org/hosting

may be an option, tho also may be expensive I'm not sure.

I also like the Injust, name and I've never read it to mean an exclusive focus on/in Seattle.

MacK said...

I would suggest the name "Above the Blue Wall" denoting how your site peers over, or past the blue wall of silence the police hide behind.

Anonymous said...

I like your site

FBM said...

Hi,

Sorry I've not committed. I have Benign Positional Vertigo so my computer time is very limited even with the motion control pills.

"Bad Cop, No Donut" is taken I think.

I'd leave this site up. For one thing, it's Blogger and they host free and you've put an incredible volume of good work here which also provides valuable chronology. I think they're are people who get something out of it. It also gives you an option if you have a yen to write about local issues. It's harder to stop than it seems, especially if some big issues (more than usual)come to light in a big city which soon might have no daily paper and where the S P-I is gone.

I think you've done great work. You'll do great work on whatever site you choose.

It's hard sometimes b/c you wonder if it's worth the effort. And the negative impact is very difficult. It's strange but while I was in the ER(the ambulance time), I ran into a couple police readers who were very kind to me. They told me it was worthwhile and with the dizziness and nausea and weakness, I almost quit (but I have had to limit my posting for a while).

Anonymous said...

I agree with FBM about keeping this site up.

Packratt said...

I agree with FBM too.

Thanks for the comments and suggestions, by all means, keep them coming.

Also, think about what you would like to see me do with the new site too and let me know if you have hosting or other related suggestions for my modest budget.

Speaking of... A BIG Thank You! to those who donated today! I have about $45 to use towards the site now thanks you all of you!!!

Anonymous said...

"as for the case you mention, I think that one was the last straw for me, he's written a few more times begging for help or good news... I have none of either to give him, and I really see myself in his shoes all too easily"

This is in response to your comment that you fear the cops framing you with drugs. I don't think you should publicly post this. In fact, please don't. There are some vindictive cops out there and I don't want to give them any ideas. I don't know if it's a real possibility that they'd try to frame you. Only you know what you've been through with the local cops. I have an idea that might help you so you don't have to worry about this particular form of revenge. As you know hair testing is used to determine drug use. Casinos do this testing on potential employees. Pull out some pieces of your hair from the root--so you'll definitely get your DNA. Then mail it yourself certified (this will date it) and don't open it when you get it. Do this every 3 or 4? months maybe more often if you have really short hair. After a while you will have established a concrete scientific record (in addition to testimony from co workers and family) that you're not a drug user. The best defense is a good offence and testing hair for drugs is not expensive so if falsely accused you'll be fine. This is the cheapest and easiest way of doing this. Another option--you might look a little crazy--would be to bring a home drug test kit (only $40) with you to the doctor and have them administer it so you have a professional witness that indeed you do not use drugs. I don't know if I'm wasting your time here but it bothered me to read that you could see yourself in the former IT techs shoes so I thought I'd share this idea.

Packratt said...

Thanks for the concern, anon, I appreciate that.

To be frank about it, I have every expectation that sometime, somewhere, some cop(s) will try to hurt me in some way. It happens all too often and I've documented some of the cases affecting others who report on police misconduct among the pages here.

Planting drugs is just one way to go about it... but the sad thing is that, if you really think about it, there really isn't any way to protect against all the various ways they could harm someone that they really wanted to hurt.

Sure, I take precautions, but I don't let that fear change my life or stop me from doing what I think is important. I won't let them beat me down that way, even if they want to do it physically.

I'll keep doing this until I can't anymore, then I'm sure someone else will come along and take up the torch... that's the way it works. They can beat the person, but they can't stop the idea.

Thanks again!

 
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