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by Peter Moskos

January 18, 2016

Just counting people killed by police won’t fix problems. We need better data.

I and Nick Selby wrote this one for the Washington Post.


aNanyMouse said...

“Perhaps police should be allowed to reprimand people who call for 911 for bad reasons.” And perhaps police should be allowed to reprimand people who spread false RUMORS, as happened w/ claims that Michael Brown’s hands were up when D. Wilson shot him.

And, while we’re at it, perhaps more studying should be done about the conditions under which, dispatchers come to omit crucially relevant INFO (e.g. that Tamir was probably brandishing a toy) in their calls to cops.

And, how about the media (and Feds) being more aggressive in probing such issues, as well as issues surrounding obstruction of justice (by cops and politicians), when it becomes clear that cops (e.g. Van Dyke) lied in official REPORTS, and politicians (incl. Emanuel?) sought to suppress evidence that such reports contained lies.

Garbage in, garbage out, whether in the form of riots (Ferguson), tragic shootings (Tamir), or collapse of public trust in cops (e.g. from exposure of Cleveland cops’ lies that they told Tamir,3x, to freeze; and from exposure of Van Dyke and pals’ lies that Laquan was moving in as an assailant).

We've moved too damn far from the mindset of Sen. H. Baker, when he became famous for asking "What did the President know, and when did he know it?" Pushing BS (w/ acts of commission or omission) once must again carry a high price.

aNanyMouse said...

Correction to the above: "...BS ... must once again CONSISTENTLY carry a high price."

aNanyMouse said...

It’s sad when folks call for 911 for bad reasons, and more so when a cop inflicts a bad shooting (e.g. after being crucially misled about key facts by Dispatch, and after being needlessly dumped into a shitstorm by an idiot partner-driver).
It’s worse when riots erupt, because rumors spun a reasonable shooting into a bad one.
It’s devastating when city brass are caught red-handed, covering-up a horrible shooting.

That Fuzzy Bastard said...

The article is absolutely right that a simply tally doesn't mean much, especially when it so badly misstates who's "armed" and "threatening". But as noted above, at this point, when an officer's report says that a suspect was threatening, people are increasingly prone to rolling their eyes. And they're right to be suspicious, because there've been too many false reports filed by police without consequence. Police need to regain the trust of the public, and they're not going to do that until the public sees that police who lie don't get away with it.