Tags

, , , , ,

POLICE WILL DO WHATEVER – Police Brutality and Abuse of Power in America 1995 – 2009

(CNN) — An Oklahoma Highway Patrol trooper was suspended Wednesday for five days without pay following a highly publicized scuffle with a paramedic in Okfuskee County in May, according to the Highway Patrol.

This is an image from a video that captured an Oklahoma trooper's scuffle with a paramedic in May.

This is an image from a video that captured an Oklahoma trooper’s scuffle with a paramedic in May.

The incident, which was caught on dash-camera and cell-phone video, showed Trooper Daniel Martin pulling over a Creek Nation ambulance for a traffic-stop violation. During the incident, Martin is heard repeatedly using profanity and twice getting into a scuffle with one of the paramedics.

Both paramedics and family members of the patient in the ambulance informed Martin several times by there was a patient inside, but he did not allow the paramedics to continue to the hospital while the video continued.

[etc.]

http://www.cnn.com/2009/US/07/23/oklahoma.trooper.suspended/index.html

Trooper suspended 5 days for scuffle with paramedic – from CNN

updated 6:18 a.m. EDT, Thu July 23, 2009

Martin continued to hold up ambulance despite being informed of patient inside

***

My Note –

The article below was before President Obama and the Democrats were put into office – this legacy of police brutality has been our curse since the Republican Conservatives have been running the management of the USA.

– cricketdiane

***

Police officers subdue a man later identified as Robert Davis in the French Quarter of New Orleans on Oct. 8, 2005. A former police officer accused in the videotaped beating was acquitted last July by a judge who heard the case without a jury.
By Mel Evans, AP
Police officers subdue a man later identified as Robert Davis in the French Quarter of New Orleans on Oct. 8, 2005. A former police officer accused in the videotaped beating was acquitted last July by a judge who heard the case without a jury.

Police brutality cases on rise since 9/11

Updated // 12/18/2007 7:39 AM

WASHINGTON — Federal prosecutors are targeting a rising number of law enforcement officers for alleged brutality, Justice Department statistics show. The heightened prosecutions come as the nation’s largest police union fears that agencies are dropping standards to fill thousands of vacancies and “scrimping” on training.

Cases in which police, prison guards and other law enforcement authorities have used excessive force or other tactics to violate victims’ civil rights have increased 25% (281 vs. 224) from fiscal years 2001 to 2007 over the previous seven years, the department says.

[etc.]

Federal records show the vast majority of police brutality cases referred by investigators are not prosecuted.

In its post-Sept. 11 reorganization, the FBI listed police misconduct as one of its highest civil rights priorities to keep pace with an anticipated increase in police hiring through 2009.

The increasing Justice numbers generally correspond to a USA TODAY analysis of federal law enforcement prosecutions using data compiled by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse at Syracuse University.

Those data show 42 law enforcement prosecutions during the first 10 months of fiscal year 2007, a 66% increase from all of fiscal 2002 and a 61% rise from a decade ago.

David Burnham, the co-founder of the TRAC database, says prosecutions appear to be increasing, but “more important” are the numbers of cases prosecutors decline.

Last year, 96% of cases referred for prosecution by investigative agencies were declined.

In 2005, 98% were declined, a rate that has remained “extremely high” under every administration dating to President Carter, according to a TRAC report.

The high refusal rates, say Burnham and law enforcement analysts, result in part from the extraordinary difficulty in prosecuting abuse cases. Juries are conditioned to believe cops, and victims’ credibility is often challenged.

[ . . . ]

http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2007-12-17-copmisconduct_n.htm

***

Mayors, rabbis arrested in corruption probe

* Story Highlights
* Mayors of Hoboken and Secaucus, New Jersey, among more than 40 arrested
* “High-volume, international money-laundering conspiracy” also alleged
* Rabbis arrested in connection with money-laundering part of probe
* Source: Corruption, money-laundering probes separate but tied by common players

updated 33 minutes ago

(CNN) — At least three New Jersey mayors, other public officials and five rabbis were among 44 people arrested Thursday in a federal investigation of public corruption and money laundering.

[ . . . ]

Hoboken, New Jersey, Mayor Peter Cammarano III and New Jersey Assembly members Daniel Van Pelt and L. Harvey Smith were among those arrested, according to the U.S. attorney’s office in Newark, New Jersey.

A federal criminal complaint alleges that Cammarano, 32, a Democrat, took about $35,000 in bribes from a government witness posing as a real estate developer.

Another complaint alleges that Van Pelt, a Republican, accepted $10,000 in cash as “consulting fees” after an FBI official posing as a real-estate executive asked him to help fast-track a real estate project in Waretown, New Jersey, a section in Van Pelt’s district. Van Pelt, 44, also is mayor of Ocean Township.

Others arrested in the public corruption portion of the investigation include Secaucus, New Jersey, Mayor Dennis Elwell, 64, who is president of a family-owned trucking company, and Jersey City Deputy Mayor Leona Beldini, the U.S. attorney’s office said.

The probe also involves a “high-volume, international money-laundering conspiracy,” the office said. Rabbis in New York and New Jersey were arrested in connection with the money-laundering part of the investigation, the office said.

[ . . . ]

The FBI began the large operation three years ago.

The public corruption and money-laundering probes are separate but are linked by common players, a source close to the investigation said.

The source described the alleged public corruption as “straight bribery” — cash-filled envelopes exchanged for political influence.

The other investigation centered on a group of rabbis who allegedly laundered tens of millions of dollars through their religious organizations for a fee, according to the source.

According to Newark’s The Star-Ledger, the rabbis taken into custody are from the Syrian Jewish communities of Deal on New Jersey’s northern shore and in Brooklyn, New York.

The arrests resulted from an FBI and Internal Revenue Service probe “that began with an investigation of money transfers by members of the Syrian enclaves in New York and New Jersey,” the newspaper said on its Web site, NJ.com.

Those arrested Thursday “include key religious leaders in the tight-knit, wealthy communities,” the report said.

Federal prosecutors released criminal complaints that contained dozens of pages of detailed allegations.

[etc.]

http://www.cnn.com/2009/CRIME/07/23/new.jersey.arrests/index.html?iref=werecommend

***

77510brutality

You make the call does Sgt. Bruss of Santa Fe Tx overstep his boundaries and use excessive force on an innocent man, repeatedly punching the unarmed hispanic male? Comment and let us know. Please call the city of Santa Fe, Tx at 409-925-6412 and give the city hall your comments, or call the santa fe police department at 409-925-2000. Please contact the City Hall and Police Department and give them your valuable input on this police beating
Category: News & Politics
Tags:

Police brutality officer assaults innocent unarmed man excessive force

[from – ]

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8kudAxiANns#watch-main-area

***

Traveler’s Advisory for Houston, Texas

//

April 01, 2009 by

Angela Kaelin

Warrantless Searches, False Arrests, Paramilitary-Style Raids, Fraudulent Laws, Thieving and Murderous Police

I am writing this after a night of very little sleep as the result of yet another incident involving unreasonable behavior on the part of Houston Police that happened last night. Police crime should not be a daily worry for people. It should not intrude on every aspect of your life. But, if you live in Houston, that’s how it is.

My own story is too horrible to be told or heard by most decent people. But, in short, my husband and I were victims of an attack by police in the summer of 2008. They claimed that it was a “case of mistaken identity,” but, in fact, it was a well-rehearsed, well-scripted form of robbery. We never knew who our uniformed assailants were, but they wore Houston police uniforms and drove two Houston squad cars to the scene. I was held at gunpoint in the shadows, threatened, as I struggled with a man, his finger on the trigger, gun pointed at my back, who told me not to speak to him or look at his face – this is aggravated assault and battery in some places, but in Houston, Texas, it’s just another day. It’s apparently nothing unusual and the police I reported it to “Had no problem with it.”

This event resulted in life changes for me. In fact, I nearly lost my life as a result of this violence and there is more to the story than I feel comfortable telling. But, over the course of the few months following that attack, I was near death. I am much stronger now, but I am still struggling to fully regain my health. Athletic and a bodybuilding enthusiast for twenty years, I now have to be very careful. No one cares – no one in Houston, anyway. These cops are killers. They see their badge as a license to kill. They seem to enjoy brutalizing people and I can’t help but feel – since I have repeated rape nightmares – that there were strong sexual overtones to my being held at gunpoint. I think it was a particular thrill for the gunman.

http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/1615632/travelers_advisory_for_houston_texas.html?cat=17

HOUSTON
Houston is the largest city in the state of Texas and the fourth largest in the US. Find out everything there is to know about the city here.
***

// <![CDATA[

function GetParam(name) {
var match = new RegExp(name + "=(.+)[&]","i").exec(location.search);
if (match==null) {
match = new RegExp(name + "=(.+)","i").exec(location.search);
}

if (match==null) {
return null;
}

match = match + "";
result = match.split(",");
return result[1];
}

function google_afs_request_done(google_ads) {
var google_num_ads = google_ads.length;
if (google_num_ads <= 0) {
return;
}

var wideAds = ""; // wide ad unit html text
var narrowAds = ""; // narrow ad unit html text

for(i = 0; i < google_num_ads; i++) {
if (google_ads[i].type=="text/wide") {
// render a wide ad
wideAds+='‘ +

‘ + google_ads[i].line1 + ‘
‘ +

‘ + google_ads[i].line2 + ‘
‘ +

‘ +

‘ + google_ads[i].visible_url + ‘

‘;
} else {
// render a narrow ad
narrowAds+=’‘ +

‘ + google_ads[i].line1 + ‘
‘ +

‘ + google_ads[i].line2 + ‘
‘ +

‘ + google_ads[i].line3 + ‘
‘ +

‘ +

‘ + google_ads[i].visible_url + ‘

‘;
}
}

if (narrowAds != “”) {
narrowAds = ‘‘ +
Ads by Google

‘ + narrowAds;
}

if (wideAds != “”) {
wideAds = ‘‘ +
Ads by Google

‘ + wideAds;
}

// Write HTML for wide and narrow ads to the proper

elements
document.getElementById(“wide_ad_unit”).innerHTML = wideAds;
}

google_afs_query = ‘Houston’;
google_afs_ad = ‘w2n8’; // specify the number of ads you are requesting
google_afs_client = ‘pub-8225102170299886’; // substitute your client ID
google_afs_channel = ‘8126434556’; // enter your custom channel ID
// google_afs_hl = ‘en’; // enter your interface language if not English
// google_afs_ie = ‘utf8’; // select input encoding scheme
// google_afs_oe = ‘utf8’; // select output encoding scheme

]]>

An interview with the Texas Flyboys
Houston, Texas is know for being extremely humid. Use these tips to beat this sticky season.
Learn about that many different fun and educational museums in Houston, Texas.
If you’re looking for quality Mexican food in Houston, Texas, you have a wide selection. It seems that there are three such establishments on every block—sometimes more—and they all have different selections and different tastes, depending on individual chefs.
If your career takes you to Houston, Texas for a conference, meeting, sales initiative or other purpose, you’ll need to know where to stay and how to maneuver about the city.
It’s difficult to know which stables will treat your horse well and accommodate your needs. If you are looking for horse stables in Houston, Texas, read on to find the best ones I know.
You can find at least one person who parks his car in his front yard, rather than on the street or in the driveway or garage. People also have more than one vehicle that they do this with. There is a Houston ordinance being proposed that would make this action illegal.
When you need a prescription filled or advice about an over-the-counter medication, you rely on your pharmacy to be fast, helpful and competent. In my experience, some Houston pharmacies don’t cut it, so here are the top three.
Find the best staffing agencies in Houston, TX.
When there are thousands of people vying for the same jobs, your chances of nailing the perfect career drop significantly. Following are a few tips for beting the competitive Houston job market.
Houston real estate agencies operate in Houston and surrounding areas and specialize in the sale and purchase of residential and commercial property.
Here are five cheap apartments in north Houston, TX.
Here are five cheap apartments in Houston’s Galleria area.
If you are looking for senior housing in Houston, TX, here are some of the best.
Conviction of a DWI (Driving While Intoxicated) offense in Houston can produce a negative stain on your record for the rest of your life.
You might think that apartments are the same everywhere, but I’m here to tell you different. Houston, Texas has a wide range of apartment options.
Here are a few suggestions for setting up your law practice in Houston, TX.
Spanish classes in can expose you to the culture of one of the largest growing American populations today. Nowhere in America is this truer than in Houston, Texas.
Shopping in a children’s only clothing store can be an entirely different experience than shopping in a large department store that has a couple different children’s sections. They will often carry top quality children’s clothing that is a well made.
Employment staffing agencies in Houston, Texas are a great way to find the job you have always wanted. Employment staffing agencies in Houston offer their clients a chance to broaden their job search to include more employment opportunities.
Clothing stores for teens in Houston, Texas are a great source for appropriate clothing for the teenager in your life. Clothing stores for teenagers are located throughout the Houston, Texas area.
Vintage clothing stores in Houston, Texas are a great resource for all things vintage. Vintage clothing stores in Houston, Texas carry a variety of vintage item not just limited to clothing.
Yoga studios in Houston, Texas offer a great place to generate a meeting of the mind, body and soul. Yoga studios offer locals in Houston, Texas a place to achieve a healthy existence in this energetic Southern city.
Romantic restaurants are numerous in the large city of Houston, Texas. Houston provides diverse selections of restaurants that fit the bill to creating the perfect romantic evening out.

**

Police beat 15-year-old girl: minority teens and police brutality

March 8, 5:57 PM
1 comment
RSS

//

WARNING: This Video contains disturbing violence

Fifteen-year-old Tamika Calhoun was arrested for allegedly stealing a car. During her arrest, she is apparently being “lippy” with her arresting officers. In response to the officer’s request that she remove her shoes, we see her kick her shoe at the officers. This, and perhaps what she is saying, sets the officer off.  And boy, does he go off– grabs her; punches her; slams her against the wall; then the floor; more punches and then lifts her from the floor by her hair.

How much of an issue is police brutality in Houston? And how much of it can be attributed to race? Is this an issue that parents of color still need to worry about when their teenagers leave the house? Historically, the public perception has been that police brutality against people of color has a racial component. This is true in most cities across the nation. And there is plenty of support for this perception. Studies, old and new, show that police brutality against minorities far out-number those against Whites and are way out of proportion to minority populations.

The 1991 Christopher Commission Report initiated after the famous Rodney King incident, looked at police behavior in Los Angeles. At about the same time, the 1992 St. Clair Report studied Boston’s law enforcement. Both found disparate treatment based on race. The Christopher Commission reported that 24% of the 650 LAPD officers interviewed acknowledged that “racial bias on the part of officers currently exists and contributes to negative interaction between police and community.”

Kim Lersch, criminologist and professor at University of Southern Florida analyzed 130 cases of police brutality accounts in a number of major cities. She found that cases of police malpractice almost always involved a Black or Latino victim. In fact, these two groups made up 97% of reported incidents.

In Houston, a 2006 audit of The Houston Police Department commissioned by Mayor Bill White found that police deployed their tazers more on Blacks than any other group. Of the 1417 people tazered that year, 67% were Black. The city spent 4.7 million dollars on tazers one year after Houston police shot two unarmed teens.

[That means they tasered 1417 people and beat how many? shot how many without cause? brutalized how many? killed how many? and how many were women or children or teens? how many were unarmed and cooperative but beaten anyway or tasered? or pepper sprayed or permanently damaged by this police brutality and policy of vicious unhindered psychotic police torture of citizens?

Yeah, that is glaring evidence to see what right-wing conservative Republicans have given the United States over the last thirty years of them ruling the roost: nothing more than a brutal and oppressive police state denying the code of law and the Declaration of Independence, US Bill of Rights and US Constitution, as well as every level of human rights and sanity known to mankind.]

***

http://www.houston.org/

Houston is business friendly. The region offers a highly educated and skilled workforce, a world-class infrastructure and transportation system and fosters a can-do spirit. The Greater Houston Partnership, the primary advocate for regional businesses, offers an array of services to company start-ups or businesses wishing to expand or relocate in the area. We’re here to help you take advantage of all the opportunities the Houston region has to offer.

More »Doing Business

Doing Business in the Houston RegionThe Houston region is business-ready, with a sophisticated transportation system, pro-business culture, world-class work force and educational institutions to power the industries of tomorrow.

More »Houston Regional GIS

Houston Regionsl Geographical Information Systems

  • Perform demographic analysis of a site and the surrounding area
  • Identify available site locations that meet your personal criteria
  • Evaluate possible sites with respect to geography and surrounding geographic features of the site
  • To reach the GIS Help Desk, email GIS@houston.org.
  • To access the Partnership’s GIS, click here.

More »Site Selection

Site SelectionWe drive regional economic development, partnering with a network of business leaders, public officials and economic development allies to provide an array of services to companies with retention, expansion and relocation projects.

More »Demographics

DemographicsThe Houston region is comprised of 10 counties: Montgomery, Harris, San Jacinto, Chambers, Fort Bend, Liberty, Austin, Waller, Galveston and Brazoria. More than 5 million people call the Houston region home. The region offers businesses access to the largest port in the United States, the largest medical center in the world – the Texas Medical Center, and more energy industry corporate headquarters than anywhere in the world.

More »Work Force

Work ForceAny business-ready city needs an educated, talented and motivated work force and with Houston’s workers being better educated than the national average, there is no shortage of skilled labor to power the businesses that choose the Houston region as their base.

More »Education

EducationHouston: An Education Powerhouse
The Houston region’s education system is first-rate. From “pre-K to grey,” learning opportunities in the region offer every subject specialization across all learning levels.

More »Transportation & Infrastructure

Transportation & InfrastructureThe Houston region is geographically centered between the East and West coasts, with a sophisticated transportation system that enables Houston-based companies to conduct business across the nation with ease.

More » Competitor Comparison

Competitor ComparisonHouston ranks #1 in the areas that matter to your business

  • Fastest Job Growth (04/07 to 04/08)
  • Best City for Your Job
  • Top U.S. Manufacturing Cities

***

MY NOTE –

With all this happy horse shit about Houston or about Seattle (if you look at their “move here” stuff) – why would anyone think they could be treated with excessive force by police in such a place? Why would a citizen expect to be beaten, brutalized, raped, robbed or killed, tazered, sat on, punched, baton butted, shot, blasted with fists, kneed in the gut or liver or kidneys, kicked, slammed on the ground or against police cars, pepper sprayed, electrocuted by taser or handcuffed and beaten to death by police officers, state troopers, city police, sheriff’s deputies, county police officers, police patrol officers, and other police officials, such as police jailers and prison police officers.

And –

PREFACE

In the early hours of March 3, 1991, a police chase in Los Angeles ended in an incident that would become synonymous with police brutality: the beating of a young man named Rodney King by members of the Los Angeles Police Department. An amateur video, televised nationwide, showed King lying on the ground while three officers kicked him and struck him repeatedly with their nightsticks. No one who viewed that beating will ever forget its viciousness.

The Rodney King incident projected the brutal reality of police abuse into living rooms across the nation, and for a while, the problem was front page news. Political leaders condemned police use of excessive force and appointed special commissions to investigate incidents of brutality. The media covered the issue extensively, calling particular attention to the fact that police abuse was not evenly distributed throughout American society, but disproportionately victimized people of color.

But six years later, police abuse is still very much an American problem, as the following examples from three recent months demonstrate:

  • In December 1996, two men in two weeks died in handcuffs at the hands of the Palm Beach County sheriff’s deputies in Florida. Lyndon Stark, 48, died of asphyxia in a cloud of pepper spray while handcuffed behind the back in a prone position. Several days earlier, Kevin Pruiksma, 27, died after being restrained by a sheriff’s deputy.
  • In January 1997, Kurt DeSilva, 34, was shot and killed by a Pawtucket, Rhode Island police officer after a low-speed car chase. DeSilva, who was unarmed, was suspected of driving a stolen car.
  • In February 1997, James Wilson, 37, an unarmed motorist, was kicked and punched by three Hartford, Connecticut police officers after a brief chase which ended in front of a Bloomfield, Connecticut police station. The beating was so severe that a group of Bloomfield police intervened to stop it. “They saw activity that appeared inappropriate,” the Bloomfield Police Chief stated. “He didn’t resist officers… He was struck.”

The fact that police abuse remains a significant problem does not mean there has been no progress. In communities all across the United States people have organized to bring about change, and some of the most successful strategies are described in this manual, now in its 3rd printing.

This manual was not inspired by, nor is it intended to generate, animosity toward the police, or to promote the perception that all police officers are prone to abuse. They are not.

Rather, it arose out of our realization that, ultimately, it will take a strong and sustained effort by community groups to bring about real and lasting reform. And it is to those efforts that this manual is dedicated.

Ira Glasser
Executive Director
American Civil Liberties Union

August 1997


1. SOME OPERATING ASSUMPTIONS

THE BAD NEWS is…
police abuse is a serious problem.
It has a long history, and it seems to defy all attempts at eradication.

The problem is national: no police department in the country is known to be completely free of misconduct. Yet it must be fought locally: the nation’s 19,000 law enforcement agencies are essentially independent. While some federal statutes specify criminal penalties for willful violations of civil rights and conspiracies to violate civil rights, the United States Department of Justice has been insufficiently aggressive in prosecuting cases of police abuse. There are shortcomings, too, in federal law itself, which does not permit “pattern and practice” lawsuits. The battle against police abuse must, therefore, be fought primarily on the local level.

THE GOOD NEWS is…
the situation is not hopeless.
Policing has seen much progress. Some reforms do work, and some types of abuse have been reduced. Today, among both police officials and rank and file officers, it is widely recognized that police brutality hinders good law enforcement.

To fight police abuse effectively, you must have realistic expectations. You must not expect too much of any one remedy because no single remedy will cure the problem. A “mix” of reforms is required. And even after citizen action has won reforms, your community must keep the pressure on through monitoring and oversight to ensure that the reforms are actually implemented.

Nonetheless, even one person, or a small group of persistent people, can make a big difference. Sometimes outmoded and abusive police practices prevail largely because no one has ever questioned them. In such cases, the simple act of spotlighting a problem can have a powerful effect that leads to reform. Just by raising questions, one person or a few people — who need not be experts — can open up some corner of the all-too-secretive and insular world of policing to public scrutiny. Depending on what is revealed, their inquiries can snowball into a full blown examination by the media, the public and politicians.


2. GETTING STARTED — IDENTIFY THE PROBLEM

You’ve got to address specific problems. The first step, then, is to identify exactly what the police problems are in your city. What’s wrong with your police department is not necessarily the same as what’s wrong in that of another city. Police departments differ in size, quality of management, local traditions and the severity of their problems. Some departments are gravely corrupt; others are relatively “clean” but have poor relations with community residents. Also, a city’s political environment, which affects both how the police operate and the possibilites for achieving reform, is different in every city. For example, it is often easier to reform police procedures in cities that have a tradition of “good government,” or in cities where racial minorities are well organized politically.

The range of police problems includes —

1) Excessive use of deadly force.

2) Excessive use of physical force.

3) Discriminatory patterns of arrest.

4) Patterns of harassment of the homeless, youth, racial minorities and gays, including aggressive and discriminatory use of the “stop-and-frisk” and overly harsh enforcement of petty offenses.

5) Chronic verbal abuse of citizens, including racist, sexist and homophobic slurs.

6) Discriminatory non-enforcement of the law, such as the failure to respond quickly to calls in low-income areas and half-hearted investigations of domestic violence, rape or hate crimes.

7) Spying on political activists.

8) Employment discrimination — in hiring, promotion and assignments, and internal harassment of minority, women and gay or lesbian police personnel.

9) The “code of silence” and retaliation against officers who report abuse and/or support reforms.

10) Overreaction to gang problems, which is driven by the assumption that those who associate with known gang members must be involved in criminal activity, even in the absence of concrete evidence that this is the case. This includes illegal mass stops and arrests, and demanding photo IDs from young men based on their race and dress instead of on their criminal conduct.

11) The “war on drugs,” with its overbroad searches and other tactics that endanger innocent bystanders. This “war” wastes scarce resources on unproductive “buy and bust” operations to the neglect of more promising community-based approaches.

12) Lack of accountability, such as the failure to discipline or prosecute abusive officers, and the failure to deter abuse by denying promotions and/or particular assignments because of prior abusive behavior.

13) Crowd control tactics that infringe on free expression rights and lead to unnecessary use of physical force.

HOW MUCH BRUTALITY?

How common is police brutality? Unfortunately, measuring this problem in a scientific fashion has always been very difficult. In the first systematic study, The Police and the Public (1971), Albert Reiss found the overall rate of unwarranted force to be low — only about one percent of all encounters with citizens; even less than that by another calculation. But Reiss hastened to point out that individual incidents accumulate over time, and since poor men are the most frequent victims of police abuse, they experience both real and perceived harassment by the police.

In 1982, the federal government funded a “Police Services Study,” in which 12,022 randomly selected citizens were interviewed in three metropolitan areas. The study found that 13.6 percent of those surveyed had cause to complain about police service in the previous year (this included verbal abuse and discourtesy, as well as physical force). Yet, only 30 percent of the people filed formal complaints. In other words, most instances of police abuse go unreported.

Community activists, take note: Your local police department or local news media may produce official figures showing a low rate of alleged abuse, but those figures do not reflect unreported incidents. Moreover, a low overall rate masks the higher rate of abuse suffered by poor men — poor men of color in particular.


3. GATHER THE FACTS

Obtaining the most relevant information on the activities of your police department can be a tough task. That’s the first thing to bear in mind about the “homework” community residents have to do in order to build a strong case for reform. In answer to critics, police chiefs often cite various official data to support their claim that they are really doing a great job. “Look at the crime rate,” they say. “It’s lower than in other cities.” Or: “My department’s arrest rate is much higher than elsewhere.” The catch is that these data, though readily available to citizens, are deeply flawed, while the most important information is not always easy to get.

Forget the “crime rate.” The “crime rate” figures cited by government officials are based on the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reports (UCR) system, which has several serious flaws. To name only a few: First, the UCR only measures reported crime. Second, since the system is not independently audited there are no meaningful controls over how police departments use their crime data. Police officers can and do “unfound” crimes, meaning they decide that no crime occurred. They also “downgrade” crimes — for example, by officially classifying a rape as an assault. Third, reports can get “lost,” either deliberately or inadvertently. There are many other technical problems that make the UCR a dubious measure of the extent of crime problems.

The National Crime Survey (NCS), published by another part of the U.S. Justice Department, provides a far more accurate estimate of the national crime rate and of long-term trends in crime. But it is a national-level estimate and does not provide data on individual cities. So the NCS isn’t much help on the local level.

Forget the “clearance rate.” A police department’s official data on its “clearance rate,” which refers to the percentage of crimes solved, do not accurately reflect that department’s performance. The fact that one department “clears” 40 percent of all robberies, compared with 25 percent by another department, doesn’t necessarily mean it is more effective. There are too many ways to manipulate the data, either by claiming a larger number of crimes “cleared” (inflating the numerator), or by artificially lowering the number of reported crimes (lowering the denominator).

Forget the arrest rate. Police officers have broad discretion in making and recording arrests. The Police Foundation in Washington, D.C., which conducts research on policing issues, has found great variations among police departments in their recording of arrests. In many departments, police officers take people into custody, hold them at the station, question and then release them without filling out an arrest report. For all practical purposes, these people were arrested, but their arrests don’t show up in the official data. Other departments record such arrests. Thus, the department that reports a lower number of arrests may actually be taking more people into custody than the department that reports more arrests.

[etc.]

http://www.aclu.org/police/gen/14614pub19971201.html

***

America the Police State left by the Conservative Republican Party Leadership that has kept the USA oppressed by thirty years of their visions and actions to stand on the citizens of America – just to make their friends money from Goldman Sachs to the US Chamber of Commerce to The Heritage Institute to FoxNews and Rupert Murdoch to The Republican Party credit derivatives / mortgage based securities games – this is the America they’ve given us along with their friends – one where police brutality is a daily fact.

Is it any wonder why the international community doesn’t want the US sitting on any human rights commissions considering the recent years of American States’ domestic policy of brutalizing their citizens with armed police while commonly denying human rights and civil rights throughout the United States?

From sovereign immunity to eminent domain – the conservatives who have been running the Republican Party, our churches, and many of our states, have created a gestapo across the United States in order to profit which denies every foundation of democracy, freedom and human rights. And now, they want to pretend they were the good guys after leaving the economy a wasteland and making the state governments look more like Nazi Germany than the USA?

– cricketdiane, 07-23-09

***

Advertisements