I’ve been getting some push back lately in regard to my copious police brutality posts. To be clear, there wouldn’t be copious posts if there weren’t copious instances of brutality, but that’s too obvious a point. I get a lot of "not all cops are bad" comments with really no data or effort made to show me anything at all. So I thought I would put together some numbers to help us take a really close look on what’s going on here. After all, maybe we don’t actually have a rash of homicidal cops. Maybe social media is blowing the situation out of proportion.
Let’s examine. A good place to start would be to look at violent crime. Do we have more violent criminals necessitating more instances of lethal self defense from cops? Not so much. Violent crime has actually been going down for over two decades now.
Murder/manslaughter – down
Forcible rape – down
Robbery – down
Aggravated assault – down
Property crime – down
So crime is down, down, down straight across the board. Well that’s weird. Maybe more cops are getting killed despite the fact crime is down, and that’s why they seem to be shooting their guns so frequently? Negative. 2013 brought us the lowest number of cops killed (as a result of a felonious act) in fifty years. That data goes up to 2012. The number of cops killed during a felonious act in 2013 was twenty seven. Twenty seven? All year? All across the country? That doesn’t really seem like enough to create the twitchy cop syndrome we seem to be witnessing lately, does it? Even cops reporting their own numbers on cops being shot in the line of duty is way down from previous years. Here’s a visual to help you understand the crime to cop homicide trend;
Wanna know what else is down? Gun ownership. These cops are not facing the meanest streets ever.
Hey cop apologists, feel free to esplain this away. Go ahead, I’m listening.
Maybe it just seems like cops are shooting a lot of people because these stories spread like wildfire thanks to social media It’s possible that it feels more frequent than it actually is, right? Here’s where this all gets tricky. We don’t really know how many people cops kill every year because no one is really counting. I posted a meme yesterday that cites 409 deaths by cop in 2014.
This number comes from the FBI’s Supplementary Homicide Report. I have news for the commenters who didn’t like it; it’s way below the actual number. The reporting has some major issues like ambiguity on how "justifiable" and "unjustifiable" are determined, and the fact that it’s based on self reporting from the states. Only 750 out of over 17,000 law enforcement agencies report their numbers. Think about that for a minute. 400 homicides by cop from just .44% of agencies reporting. If you think that the lack of accurate data on this is an accident, I have a decaying bridge in America to sell you. This information is nearly impossible to collect by design.
There are a few different efforts being made out there to gather the information by crowd sourcing it. How pathetic is that? Seriously, we have to resort to reporting each one of these when we hear about them and entering the website set up to do what our law enforcement officials won’t? What does that tell you about the FBI’s official number? Some of these crowd sourcing efforts have come up with more than 1,000 per year.
To recap, 27 dead cops and at least (remember, that’s just what Googling turned up) 1,000 civilians killed by cops. If you don’t think there’s a problem here, it’s because you don’t want to see it.
Here’s a really fucking disturbing article I found. You know how some people like to deflect whatever is being said about murder by saying, "gang violence" or "black on black crime"? I actually had a douchebag purporting to be a cop show up on my Facebook page saying that. The Salt Lake City Tribune looked at the cause of homicides in Utah. The #1 highest instances of homicide in Utah is from intimate partners killing each other. Wanna wager a guess on what the #2 highest instance of homicide is? Gangs? Nope. It would be death by cop.
What do you have to say to that, cop apologists? Do you want to tell me how I’m being hyperbolic and one sided again?
In the tradition of Law And Order, I will now move from the criminal act to the court proceedings. And in order to do that, I must offer up more sketchy information that isn’t collected through any official procedural means. A researcher named David Packman (not the one from the podcast) compiled a database of police brutality reports. I know what the cop apologists are going to say, "a complaint doesn’t necessarily mean it happened." That’s true. It’s also true that police brutality is often not reported. Take the case of Daniel Holtzclaw for example. This motherfucker is on trial for sexually assaulting thirteen women (that we know of). This predator was smart because he preyed on most powerless group of women in the country; black women with criminal records. He was sailing along, raping women with impunity until one day in June when he fucked up and assaulted a woman who didn’t feel powerless. Up until he fucked with the wrong woman, there were no reports. By the way, officer motherfucker is on paid leave, sitting at his parents with a monitoring device around his ankle, waiting for his trial to begin. Doesn’t that sound lovely? I hope he’s got a big 4k tv to watch the rape porn collection I’m positive he owns on. His family and friends are out there calling the victims drug addicts and scumbags. Classy. I digress. Packman found 4,861 unique reports of misconduct involving 6,613 officers (354 of which were chiefs or sheriffs) in 2010. Those brutality allegations resulted in 247 fatalities. The total cost to taxpayers for settling these law suits is an estimated $346,512,800 for just one year.
Now let’s look at convictions. From April 2009 through to the end of 2010, Packman tallied 8,300 allegations of misconduct involving 11,000 cops. Of those, a mere 33% resulted in conviction and a paltry 12% resulted in incarceration. Let me put that into perspective for you by comparing it to conviction and incarceration rates for everyone else;
Huh. That seems like a pretty big disparity but then again, so does paid leave and an ankle monitor for thirty five counts of sexual assault.
Please tell me again that these victims of killer cops shouldn’t have committed crimes in the first place. Go ahead. Here’s what else you should feel free to to ahead and do;
- Dismiss my data because you don’t like it, without even bothering to provide your own data.
- Ask rhetorical and leading questions that you can’t be fucked to answer, in order to make a point that you can’t make. Not only is that a lame tactic, but it makes me do the research for you, which is why I wrote this post (you’re welcome).
- Give me anecdotes that can’t be proved, and only relay what one person thinks they saw during a single point in time. Cause that’s way more valuable than someone else’s painstakingly compiled data.
We have a problem here, and it needs to be addressed. Is every cop a bad cop? Not even remotely, but that doesn’t mean that we don’t have a giant problem on our hands. For every killer cop story I post, there are exponentially more cops on that guy’s force covering for him. A blind, deaf, and mute cop isn’t a good cop just because he’s not doing the beating, raping, or killing.
They’re not all bad, but there are way more bad cops out there than what we’re aware of.