16 December 2011

'Pattern of Excessive Force' from SPD

Maybe you've been reading my blog for a while and you think I'm a liar.

Maybe when you read this account, or this account, or this account, or this account (and those are just from the last couple of months!) of the corruption, stupidity, cruelty, and brutality of the Seattle Police Department, you think that I'm making things up, blowing incidents out of proportion, or that the things I'm talking about aren't indicative of the attitude of the department at large.

You don't believe me?

Will you believe the Department of Justice?

Read that article.

Highlights:

- 20% of use of force incidents were ruled unconstitutional.

- 57% of baton use was "either unnecessary or excessive."

- "among the approximately 1,230 use of force reports from January 2009 to April 2011, only five were referred for “further review” at any level within SPD"


And what was the response from the cops?

Seattle Police Officers’ Guild President Rich O’Neill said Friday he hopes the DOJ will allow the department to study the data used in the investigation. He also cited a 1989 Supreme Court decision that a particular use of force must be judged “from the perspective of the reasonable officer on the scene rather than with the 20/20 vision of hindsight.”

...yeah. Unsurprising. To paraphrase: "Your data is stupid. You're stupid. You weren't there, man! You don't know what it's like!"

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