Still Digging

“Our newspapers do not represent public interests, but private interests; they do not represent humanity, but property; they value a man, not because he is great or good, or wise, or useful, but because he is wealthy, or of service to vested wealth.” –Upton Sinclair

“All news is lies, and all propaganda is disguised as news.” –Willy Munzenberg

Who? What? When? Where? Why? The 5 W’s. Those were gospel when I studied journalism — our prime directive, the questions every news story had to answer. Not sure when our media lost that absolute “faith”, if it was ever put into pracctice, but it’s gone to hell now.

We live in a sad world, where we pretty much expect government, industry, and “news” media, all those with the power to do so, to lie to us, without shame or remorse, whenever that serves their ends. Which they cheerfully do, so regularly that we go numb, and just let monstrous lies roll over us, only too often.

Even if we’re still alert enough to spot the lies, it’s not always easy to uncover the truth they are meant to hide. Funny how that happens. For example, I recently clicked on a Crooks and Liars entry, interesting enough but incomplete, and when I checked WHERE the quoted article came from, (I hate to say this), the piece was on the Fox News site. So okay, I told myself, grit your teeth, hold your nose, and see where THEY got the story, and go from there. The Wall Street Journal was their source, apparently. But when I got to the WSJ, I could read only the lead paragraph without paying for it. Which I don’t want to do — it’s always pleasant when poverty and principle coincide. Keep digging! I did find a longer piece … on NewsMax, not exactly an unbiased source either. For what passes as “balance” these days, I include the piece as the World Socialist Web Site sees it. The truth? We’re not there yet.

So all right, the whole truth may be out of easy reach, but surely I can try to understand WHY this was published this week. My assumption is, it was never meant to inform the public. Who would benefit from that? Knowledge is power, and ain’t nobody relinquishing that without a compelling reason.

It’s a bit unusual that there’s even a hint of criticism of the cops here. Or is there? Maybe the message is that the valiant local police are bravely resisting big-government efforts to get additional information on officer-involved killings. That would explain the Fox News usage — and if you can stand it, look toward the end of the piece for an unsurprising racist motif. Or, my other thought, is this a subtle (by media standards) threat — don’t question what the cops do, or you too might become one of these unreported homicide statistics. As I said, a sad world. And fucking dangerous.

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Hundreds Of Police Homicides Go Unreported

Crooks and Liars * December 4, 2014 12:00 pm
By Susie Madrak
Local police departments are not required to participate in the FBI’s uniform crime reporting program.

Seems like that information would be useful to have:
http://www.foxnews.com/us/2014/12/03/hundreds-officer-involved-homicides-not-recorded-by-police-report-says/

block quote
National statistics show that hundreds of homicides committed by law-enforcement officers between 2007 and 2012 were not recorded in the FBI’s Uniform Crime Report, the Wall Street Journal reports.
More than 550 homicides committed by police during that period were missing, the paper reports. The lack of complete data makes it impossible to accurately determine how many people police kill each year.
Demands for more transparency on such killings have been shoved into the spotlight after the August shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown by officer Darren Wilson in Ferguson. The Ferguson police department has only recorded one justifiable homicide between 1976 and 2012, according to statistics.
Local police departments are not required to participate in the FBI’s uniform crime reporting program.
Some agencies tend to not report the killings, Bureau of Justice statistician Alexia Cooper told the journal. Nearly 800 agencies reported about 2,400 killings by police, while more than 18,000 other departments did not report any.
Some entities in the reports said they did not view justifiable homicides by law-enforcement officers as something that should be reported. Some agencies did not consider the events to be actual offenses.
In certain cases, if an officer killed someone in a city or town out of its jurisdiction believed that particular town would handle the report, by they had not done so.
block quote end
©2014 Crooks and Liars
http://crooksandliars.com/2014/12/hundreds-police-homicides-go-unreported?utm_source=Crooks+and+Liars+Daily+Newsletter&utm_campaign=443c37660b-RSS_EMAIL_CAMPAIGN&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_d4904be7bc-443c37660b-326999497
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Hundreds of homicides committed by police reportedly not included in national crime statistics
FoxNews.com * December 03, 2014
Dec. 1, 2014: Westover Police vehicles are parked outside Doug’s Towing in Westover, W.V (AP)
National statistics show that hundreds of homicides committed by law-enforcement officers between 2007 and 2012 were not recorded in the FBI’s Uniform Crime Report, the Wall Street Journal reports.
More than 550 homicides committed by police during that period were missing, the paper reports. The lack of complete data makes it impossible to accurately determine how many people police kill each year.
Demands for more transparency on such killings have been shoved into the spotlight after the August shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown by officer Darren Wilson in Ferguson. The Ferguson police department has only recorded one justifiable homicide between 1976 and 2012, according to statistics.
Local police departments are not required to participate in the FBI’s uniform crime reporting program.
Some agencies tend to not report the killings, Bureau of Justice statistician Alexia Cooper told the journal. Nearly 800 agencies reported about 2,400 killings by police, while more than 18,000 other departments did not report any.
Some entities in the reports said they did not view justifiable homicides by law-enforcement officers as something that should be reported. Some agencies did not consider the events to be actual offenses.
In certain cases, if an officer killed someone in a city or town out of its jurisdiction believed that particular town would handle the report, by they had not done so.
In recent years, police have tried to rely on the data to develop better tactics in policing.
A particular alarming report came as recently in Washington D.C.
Police in Washington did not report any details about any homicides to the FBI for an entire decade starting in 1998; the same year the Washington Post revealed the city had one of the highest officer-involved killings in the country.
The city reported five killings by police in 2011, but zero in the following year after 24-year-old Albert Payton was killed by police while wielding a knife.
Significant increases in officer-involved killings can spark questions about management within the police department, Mike, a criminologist at Arizona State told the journal. “Sometimes that can be tied to poor leadership and problems with accountability.”
For more, visit the Wall Street Journal.
http://online.wsj.com/articles/hundreds-of-police-killings-are-uncounted-in-federal-statistics-1417577504
This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. ©2014 FOX News Network, LL
http://www.foxnews.com/us/2014/12/03/hundreds-officer-involved-homicides-not-recorded-by-police-report-says/
++++++++++++

Hundreds of Police Killings Are Uncounted in Federal Stats
FBI Data Differs from Local Counts on Justifiable Homicides
By Rob Barry and Coulter Jones
WASHINGTON—When 24-year-old Albert Jermaine Payton wielded a knife in front of the police in this city’s southeast corner, officers opened fire and killed him.
Yet according to national statistics intended to track police killings, Mr. Payton’s death in August 2012 never happened. It is one of hundreds of homicides by law-enforcement agencies between 2007 and 2012 that aren’t included in records kept by the Federal Bureau of…
To Read the Full Story, Subscribe or Log in
Copyright ©2014 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
http://online.wsj.com/articles/hundreds-of-police-killings-are-uncounted-in-federal-statistics-1417577504
++++++++++++++++
 
WSJ: Police-Related Deaths Go Unreported to FBI
Newsmax * Wednesday, 03 Dec 2014 01:22 PM
By Sandy Fitzgerald

Hundreds of Americans were killed by police officers between 2007 and 2012, but the FBI has no record of their deaths, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis.

Data from 105 of the nation’s largest police departments show more than 550 people were killed by the police during that time period, reports the publication, but many of them are either missing from the national count or not attributed to the agency that was involved, meaning it is not possible to know how many are killed every year.

Transparency advocates say there has been a lack of information on such killings for years. Meanwhile, the public has been clamoring for more information following the death of 18-year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri.

Ferguson has been damaged by rioting and protests after the shooting and after a grand jury’s decision decided that police officer Darren Wilson should not face criminal charges for Brown’s death. That community’s police department reported just one justifiable homicide by police incident between 1976 and 2012, the records show.

“When cops are killed, there is a very careful account and there’s a national database,” said Columbia University law professor Jeffrey Fagan. “Why not the other side of the ledger?”

There are three sources of information about such deaths, including the FBI, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and information provided by the Bureau of Justice Statistics, and they can vary widely, said University of Missouri-St. Louis criminologist David Klinger.

To conduct its analysis, the Journal requested internal records from 110 police departments, with 105 providing records. The figures showed there were 1,825 killings during the 2007-2012 period, but the FBI records showed a tally of just 1,242.

Almost all the deaths caused from deadly force by police were deemed justifiable by either the departments or local authorities.

Meanwhile, the Journal reports, most of the nation’s 18,000-plus law enforcement agencies did not report any killings at all, while 753 departments reported around 2,400.

Bureau of Justice Statistics statistician Alexia Cooper said the FBI does not know that not every agency that could report has chosen not to, but “what we know is that some places have chosen not to report these, for whatever reason.”

For example, the Washington, D.C., police did not report police-related deaths for 10 years, beginning in 1998, when The Washington Post reported the city’s officer-related deaths were the highest in the United States.

The department did report five police-related deaths in 2011, but none in 2012.

D.C. Metropolitan Police Chief Cathy Lanier was not the chief in 1998 and did not make the decisions, and even when she took over in 2007, reporting statistics “was a nightmare and a very tedious process.”

The FBI shows almost no records of police shootings from three key states: Florida, New York, and Illinois.

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement’s records don’t conform to FBI requirements and have not been included since 1996. And in New York, a spokeswoman for the State Division of Criminal Justice Services said her agency is looking to “modify our technology so we can reflect these numbers.”

In Illinois, crime statistics started being reported to the FBI only in 2010, although Chicago and Rockford do provide the FBI with information.

Meanwhile, local agencies are not required to turn over reports about deaths to the FBI.

Some turn over their crime statistics, but not detailed records on homicides, which is how the FBI tracks them. Instead, the records are sent from local police agencies to state agencies, which forward the information.

Justifiable police deaths from a full 35 of the 105 agencies contacted did not show up in the FBI’s records, and some agencies said they do not view such incidents as anything that needs to be reported.

For 28 other of the agencies, the FBI did not have records of police killings in at least one of the years, but two departments said their officers had not killed anyone during that time period.

And, about 12 agencies said their tallies did not match the FBI records because incidents are reported by the jurisdiction where they occurred, not by the department where the officer is employed.
© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.
http://www.newsmax.com/US/Wall-Street-Journal-police-FBI-deaths/2014/12/03/id/610835/
+++++++++++++++++++++++++

Hundreds of police killings go unreported
World Socialist Web Site * 4 December 2014
According to a Wall Street Journal report, national statistics provided by the Federal Bureau of Investigation do not report 25 percent or more of police killings in the US.
The newspaper analyzed data from 105 of the largest police agencies in the country and compared the figures to the official statistics of the FBI. More than 550 killings between 2007 and 2012 were not part of the FBI totals.
Specifically, in these jurisdictions the Journal tallied at least 1,800 police killings, compared to only 1,242 reported to the FBI.
One of the major causes of the discrepancy is the failure of many local police agencies to report homicides that are considered justifiable. As the Fairfax County, Virginia Police Department said, such killings are not an “actual offense,” and they are not reported to the FBI.
The Journal gave the example of 24-year-old Albert Jermaine Payton in Washington, DC, who was shot and killed in 2012. His mother, who witnessed the killing, said the police were well acquainted with her son, who apparently suffered from mental illness. As he approached the cops that day holding a small utility knife, they fired dozens of times, and he died soon after.
This homicide was not reported to the FBI. The officers involved are back on the job, and there was no further investigation.
The consequences of the underreporting include the obvious underestimation of the reign of violence that exists in poor working class communities around the country. It is one more avenue through which the police, and the authorities to whom they are ultimately responsible, attempt to minimize the anger and political fallout that has been visible on the streets of Ferguson, Staten Island and elsewhere in recent months.
Only some of the most egregious cases of police violence become widely known. The reality is even worse than indicated in the latest grand jury exonerations of the police in Missouri and New York.
Copyright © 1998-2014 World Socialist Web Site – All rights reserved
http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2014/12/04/kill-d04.html
 

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About l. l. frederick

I'm pretty ordinary, so I find any number of things in the world interesting, among them: books, music, flowers, food, social justice, politics and (sometimes!) people. As for my writing, I've decided that I can be subtle and tasteful when our only problems are esthetic ones. Or when I'm dead, whichever comes first. In the meantime, read at your own risk.
This entry was posted in Civil Rights, Dissent, Family & Children, Justice, Law, Media, Music, News and politics, Security and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Still Digging

  1. tubularsock says:

    Linda, excellent post. Tubularsock goes through this easter-egg-hunt for information all the time and have found that many times the information is circled back to the point that Tubularsock wonders if there was ever a “source” in the first place. Well done my friend. Keep digging, there just has to gold here somewhere ……… or not.

    • Tubularsock, “there just has to be gold here somewhere…” Or maybe just a rotten egg half-eaten by racoons? (I know, très tasteful right? But I liked your easter-egg hunt metaphor!) Thanks for your comment and kind words. I’m a gardener of sorts, so I must LIKE digging. – Linda

  2. I guess it’s up to the people to hold local police accountable, rather than the FBI. The FBI isn’t on our side to begin with.

    • It doesn’t look as if law enforcement on any level is on our side, and making little pretense of it. I just hope we will hold ANYONE accountable for ANYTHING in my lifetime. Thanks for your comment. – LindaI just hope we will hold ANYONE accountable for ANYTHING. in my lifetime.

  3. Jeff Nguyen says:

    “it’s always pleasant when poverty and principle coincide”…I hate when that happens, too. Here’s commentary from a blogger who makes the connection between our foreign and domestic policy: http://bit.ly/13nyq5g. Why should the military get all the accolades and glory for killing human beings? You almost can’t blame the police for wanting in on some of that praise and worship action.

    • Jeff, Maybe that is the deal. It does make you wonder who our police feel they ‘serve and protect’, if anyone. Would you be willing to risk your life to defend wealth — the wealth of people who wouldn’t waste their spit on you? I’m quite terrified when I think of what people can be brainwashed and conditioned to accept and do. Would we torture, kill and devour our own children if authority told us it was ‘the right thing’ long enough and loud enough? We already cheerfully sacrifice our young to corporate/imperialist wars, greed and indifference — we just use less disturbing labels for such practices.

      Thanks as ever for your comment, and for the link. – Linda

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