From the Washington Post comes an article regarding the recent postings of cell phone video on the internet where police officers have beaten, pepper sprayed and even tazered ordinary, unarmed citizens that actually came to them for help. In one case, a 4 year old girl was shot after a police officer came to help her, but then decided to shoot a barking dog (yes, police officers are allowed to shoot barking dogs, and they do so at an outstanding rate that the animal right’s activists are openly up in arms against), but insted shot the 4 year old girl and shattered her leg with a bullet. In other stories (see http://www.copblock.org), the police apparently are shooting all kinds of unarmed and non threatening ordinary US citizens that just are in the wrong place at the wrong time, are just complaining to the police, are trying to film them, have filed grievances–nothing violent, nothing that would reasonably create fear in anyone, and nothing that isn’t just tacky or uncouth behavior by the general public.
The worst is when an innocent unarmed citizen comes to the officer and asks for help with a police matter, and ends up shot or beaten or raped. Some 1300 rapes each year mostly against women and girls are caused by on duty and off duty police officers. That has to end. The police have already killed some 750+ citizens this year, and apparently a good chunk were unarmed, and those deaths have not been independently investigated for the most part.
The best part of the story is that Bureau of Justice Statistics (didn’t even know this existed) is going to start requiring police departments to report on all shootings and give detailed information on unarmed shoots.
As expected, with only 3% of police districts reporting, because reporting isn’t mandatory (why?), it appears that blacks and minoritys are killed at a much higher rate than whites while unarmed–a most important statistic.
As the article quipped, it’s amazing that we can get statistics on who and where people sat at sporting and theater and music events involving thousands of patrons each and every day, but the police department can’t keep track of who they shot, where, when and why.
This is very important becaue perhaps we can also petition the Bureau of Justice Statistics to also look into the disableds and seniors that die in and out of nursing homes with evidence of abuse that is not reported to the authorities, and even more important, where there is an advance abuse report, but nothing is done and the person dies quickly as a result. (Jaycox, Sykes, Gore, etc.) The Bureau of Justice should be requiring autopsies after reports of abuse and use of chemical restraints and these reports should be turned over to the authorities for a tox screen and autopsy to look at murder (Gore, Richards, Sykes, Jaycox, etc.) Because there are so few statistics, the Bureau of Justice should be combing independent records of death–hospital and nursing home records, funeral director reports, abuse reports from all scources, etc. rather than just rely upon police reports
As noted in the article:it is important to gleen information from other sources when the data simply isn’t there. And when data isn’t there, this situation should be deemed “embarrasing” and “ridiculous”.
Now GAL Adam Stern would like to cover this all up by quipping to the ARDC during his testimony “no reason to worry when an old person gets sick, because they get sick and die all the time”, but sickness coupled with reports of abuse should ALWAYS be investigated.