A few things before I start with this weekend’s report.
Today, Radley Balko asked his readers an interesting question as to whether appointing or electing law enforcement leadership had anything to do with police misconduct. It was an interesting question so I decided to run some analysis on our data and see if there were any correlations between misconduct rates and leadership selection types.
The results were sort of interesting.
First, just looking at overall misconduct per capita rates the results appear to indicate that agencies with elected leaders have less misconduct. Our 2009 Annual Report indicated that the national police misconduct rate was a projected 980.64 officers per 100,000. When we segment that into local Police Departments and Sheriff’s Offices we find that Police departments where leaders are appointed had a misconduct rate of 990.09 per 100,000 while Sheriffs offices where leaders are elected had a misconduct rate of 644.14 per 100,000.
Our 2010 data is somewhat similar in the breakdown. While the overall misconduct rate was 977.98 per 100,000, police departments had a misconduct rate of 1082.04 per 100,000 and sheriff’s agencies had a misconduct rate of 706.74 per 100,000.
So, it would seem that elected officials do better than appointed officials. However, when we look at the number of agencies and leaders implicated in misconduct we see something different.
In 2009 our data indicated that 10.8% of police agencies had officers involved in police misconduct while 7.8% of sheriff’s departments had officers implicated in acts of misconduct. But, in 2010 14% of police agencies had officers implicated in misconduct and 18% of sheriff’s departments had officers implicated in misconduct. Additionally, in 2010, 2.5% of police chiefs were implicated in acts of misconduct while 3.5% of sheriffs were implicated in misconduct. So, when we examine the numbers by agency the picture is a bit more muddled.
However, I personally think that, more importantly than how law enforcement leaders are selected, the laws and policies that govern those leaders and the people they lead are at least as equally important, if not more so. After all, even if you have a good leader in place, what good is it if state laws and local union agreements make it impossible for that leader to hold officers accountable for acts of misconduct?
With all that said, here are the 11 reports of police misconduct tracked in our National Police Misconduct News Feed for this weekend of July 30-31, 2011:
- Fullerton CA police accused of excessive force in arrests of man outside club & another who filmed it  youtu.be/PiNOjG-xlPw
- Port Townsend WA police accused of excessive force on man who didn’t show ID during DUI stop, was a passenger  http://ow.ly/1vbBVs
- US DEA agents accused of throwing innocent veteran to the ground during wrong door raid, DEA denies allegations  http://ow.ly/1vceaZ
- Houston TX police say lights & sirens aren’t required when speeding to calls after speeding cop strikes pedestrian  http://ow.ly/1vbFs2
- Tulsa OK cops in corruption case sued by man freed after 2yrs into life sentence after drug informant admitted lying  http://ow.ly/1v9t4G
- Suffolk Co NY cop arrests news cameraman for obstruction as he films chase scene from public sidewalk a block away  http://ow.ly/1va8uo
- Glassboro NJ cop subject of brutality suit by woman alleging she was arrested for saying she was filing complaint  http://ow.ly/1v9Kr4
- Michigan Supreme Court endangers civil rights act by deciding sheriff not liable for deputy raping a female detainee  http://ow.ly/1v9u8o
- Shreveport LA cop in suit alleging he punched woman is fired for alleged unrelated violations of dept policies  http://ow.ly/1v9qfd
- Dallas TX police officer arrested on domestic violence assault charges
in unspecified incident and unlawful restraint after allegedly pushing woman to the ground then cuffing her & threatening her with jail time after arguing with her about an ex-girlfriend.  http://ow.ly/1vcdIj
- Clark Co IN sheriff’s lt col arrested on misd domestic battery charges after wife reported incident to state police  http://ow.ly/1vcmIx
- Albuquerque NM cop arrested on DUI & criminal damage charges after showing up to ex-husband’s home drunk & angry  http://ow.ly/1vcGJ0
That’s it for today, stay safe out there!