Final strategizing for civilian oversight of police

Urbana is on the verge of establishing independent civilian oversight of its police. But the new Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) contract with the City has placed severe limits on this grassroots effort. Concerned citizens meet this Tuesday, January 9 at 7:00 pm to strategize. The Champaign County Coalition for Citizen Police Review has been pushing for civilian oversight of police locally for at least six years, since efforts to establish oversight failed in Champaign following a spate of violent incidents involving questionable police conduct. In one case local police broke a man’s neck by knealing on his neck and pulling back on his head. Recently statistics on traffic stops that police supplied to the Illinois Department of Transportation have demonstrated widespread racial disparities. Also, the City of Urbana recently paid an amount of money, as part of a sexual harassment case of an on-duty Urbana officer, sufficient to cover the expenses of the proposed Citizen Police Review Board for several years. The officer in question had been accused on numerous occasions in the past of sexual misconduct, but there was no independent civilian oversight at that time to raise the issue. The current Mayor of Urbana Laurel Prussing and a majority of the Urbana City Council have expressed support for such a board, as have many, many citizens in public hearings over the last two years. The issue of civilian oversight became an election issue in the last municipal elections in Urbana. Mayor Prussing, a founding member of the Coalition, established a Taskforce to study the issues involved in establishing police oversight shortly after she was elected. That Taskforce concluded this summer with recommendation for legislation. The Taskforce included the current Chief of Police as well as the then-President of the FOP, in additon to representatives of the NAACP, Urban League, CU Citizens for Peace and Justice and other concerned local groups. Further consideration of civilian police review has been on hold pending the outcome of negotiations between the City of Urbana and the FOP -- in closed session, that is, not public. Now the FOP contract has been negotiated and ratified and made public. The agreement does provide for the possibility of a citizen police review board but also contains language related to such a board that does not have activists cheering. Specifically, convicted felons are barred from serving on any such board. Police officers are not required to testify. And the board itself would not have the authority to conduct independent “third party investigations.” Some activists say civilian oversight, even a limited one, is still worthwhile. Others are not so sure. Learn more and join in the strategizing: The Coalition meets this Tuesday, January 9 at 7:00 pm at the Illinois Disciples Foundation (IDF) on the corner of Wright and Springfield in Champaign. The Coalition will also discuss efforts to establish civilian police review in Champaign. For more, see http://www.prairienet.org/cprb/ And for nationwide info, see http://nacole.org/ Local contact: Ricky Baldwin 328-3037.

p.s.

In the case of the man whose neck was broken in 2000, he survived and a federal jury eventually awarded the man $373,000 from the City of Urbana (2003). Most of this was paid by the City's insurance. In the case of the officer accused of rape, the City of Urbana paid an undisclosed amount as part of the settlement, again certainly paid by insurance, but a (presumably) small percentage -- $100,000 -- came from taxpayers. (We know because the Council had to approve it, and it then became part of the public record.) But the money pales in comparison to the harm done to individual citizens and the community as a whole when officers charged with responsibilities of state, an armed with authority to do bodily harm and invade privacy, abuse this trust and members of the community. The most basic principles of democracy and justice demand independent civilian oversight of police.

What have they to hide?

Throughout the negotiations with police to create the Civilian Review Board, it has been disappointing to watch the police squirm and excuse themselves from having any real oversight. While credit needs to be given to those who have worked very hard for a very long time to establish something....that something remains a far cry from what you would expect an honest police force would be willing to accept as legitimate oversight. The end result is a compromised version of a civilian review board that will do little to change current police behavior, because the police won't be held publicly accountable when some of their ranks get out of line, and any disciplinary actions taken against the police remain at the discretion of the police force themselves. It is still the samo', samo' of the White House investigating the Lewinsky allegations. There are many police officers who are honest and hardworking, who have nothing to fear from civilian oversight. There are also a few officers on all departments who harbor racial grudges, become very violent in the course of their duties, often provoking people during their interactions, and are willing to fabricate police reports and testimony. The current proposed form of civilian oversight will not allow any of the proceedings to be public. The officer's name and badge number will remain annonymous when the Board reviews a complaint. The Board will have no ability to recommend any disiplinary remedies such as suspension, further training, or the filing of criminal charges with the state's attorney. The most citizens can expect out of the F.O.P. version of this review board is a "Thank you for sharing this with us, have a nice day." Nothing different will happen than what we already have, which is internal affairs at the police department signing off on whatever their own may have done wrong. What can citizens do? Here are some guidelines when interacting with the police: 1) Never yell or get argumentative with an officer. 2) Never resist arrest- even if you think it's wrong. If arrested, the conversation is over with that officer. Don't talk until you can acquire a lawyer. 3) Try to solicit witnesses during your interaction with an officer. It is always best to never be alone with an officer. (too many people discover later that an officer will write that a person said this or that, when in fact, they did not say what an officer claims in his report.) 4) Unfortunately, the Supreme Court has ruled in the Hiibel Case of '05 that we are all required to provide accurate names of ourselves to an officer whenever they ask for our names. Beyond that, you may inquire if you are under investigation, and if so, then you are allowed to say nothing further. You do not have to consent to any searches of your vehicle, or your person. Let the officer know you are formally refusing to be searched. Ask the officer what the probable cause is before they attempt to search. Do not try to physically resist a search. Remember, some of these officers are crazy and may be taking anabolic steroids. 5) If the officer says you are not the subject of an investigation, then you do not have to give your address, your birthdate, your social security number, nor what your job is. Officers have been tracking citizens this way and it is not lawful for them to demand you provide this information if you are not the subject of an investigation. And even if you are the subject of an investigation, you can invoke your Miranda Rights at that moment. 6) If you are driving a vehicle, yes, you must produce a valid driver's license and valid insurance. Passengers should not be subject to identification searches. 7) Get the badge number, get the name of the officer, and get the number on the squad car. Write this information down, write the date and time of the interaction. If officers are hiding this information from you, notify the city council. All uniformed officers should be clearly identified on their uniforms. 8) First chance you get, write down a narrative of everything you remember when interacting with this officer. 9) File all necessary formal complaints to wherever they need to be filed. Stick with it, file the complaint with the police department, file it with the Human relations boards, file it with the city councils. Persistance is crucial. Be loud. Go to any local media willing to publish your story. Name names. If there is an officer who is breaking the law, violating people's rights, and brutalizing citizens, we all need to know who this person is. 10) Whenever possible, if you see police having stopped someone, go near where the incident is occuring, and without interfering whatsoever, bear witness to what the officers are doing. It was very interesting to watch the 2004 Miller/Thompson video, Citizen's Watch, and see that not one arrest occured in the documentary. Police behavior improves when they know they are being watched. This is a sad way to have to think about your police department, but they have brought this upon themselves. For the last five years, people have been trying to reach out to the police departments to bring them to the table to negotiate how we want to be policed. They have basically refused with excuses, obsifications, belittling the public calling them ignorant, using scare tactics citing the one-in-a-million-chance scenarios, and have avoided any real reform of their current practices. Even more insulting has been the current practice of the police using cops in black face to do public relations minstrel shows justifying everything they do to educate the public into a "culture of compliance". Police work should be the very honorable profession it is. Answering the 9-1-1 call is a brave and needed service. Sadly, there are a few 1940 cops who want to bust on black and poor folks, enjoy the cowboy adventures, and think they are smart to lie in court rooms. It was really disturbing to hear a PTI S.W.A.T. training officer say, "It's quite a rush when you storm a house and everything goes well." There are officers on our forces who are using the profession to get high and by. When will we as citizens, elected officials, and the officers themselves rise up and demand better out of our police departments? The police silence over Urbana police officer Kurt Hjort, Sgt. Myers, Deputy Garrett, their racial patrolling is deafening. No one has grown two to come foreward and say wrong, wrong, wrong. If Myers walks, as it looks like he will, it will delitigitimize all the prison sentences handed down to everyone else. This system is broken, as a recent Governor has declared, and despite his own criminality, he was right. January 9 may be a night to begin to fix it as is every Saturday at 4:00p.m. at the IMC. It's a shame law enforcement officials don't see the need to fix anything while so many families languish under the weight of another prison sentence.

???

"Remember, some of these officers are crazy and may be taking anabolic steroids." Nothing like a little sprinkle of unsubstantiated speculation to spice up a baseless, misleading argument...

Baseless?

Baseless argument? Where's yours with sound evidence? It's typical that, as usual, that contrary comments on this website come with nothing....

How's this for baseless...

The "racial disparity" traffic stop report from Northwestern from 2005, so often touted as "evidence" of racial profiling by CPD, compared total number of minorities ticketed in CU compared to racial makeup of Champaign proper based on 2000 census data. It did not take into account the excessively high number of transients (of all races) passing through CU, both as a short-term destination, but also as students. When non-residents of all races were taken out of the equation, and the numbers were run based on percentages, the "racial disparity" dropped drastically. And that's only the little bit of fact-finding that I've taken the time to delve into. I have high confidence that were I to delve into other aspects of police misconduct accusations, the vast majority of those would turn out to be nothing more than hot air or doctored numbers, as well. Don't believe me? Do some research.

Statistics

Actually, if you spent time analyzing the data and discovered something else, it might be worth writing up your findings. If the disparity becomes less when you don't include the transients and students, does that mean that there's disparity in those populations? What kinds of statistical tests did you do? As far as the other allegations of police misconduct, I'd suspect that some are founded and some are baseless. For example, the case with Jon Burge in Chicago was apparently substantiated.

Wayward; There is no doubt

Wayward; There is no doubt that Burge's case is disgrace to the law enforcement profession. However, twenty years ago is a long time ago many things have changed, in addition, Chicago is not the example of law enforcement for the State or country. The majority of agencies in this country are under ten man departments. Meaning that Burge's behavior would have a difficult time getting lost in a department of smaller size. These types of events are the exceptions and painting law enforcement with a broad brush of misconduct is as bad as profiling by race, it just doesn't make sense. I certainly appreciate your approach of providing common sense and research to these issues rather than the typical mantra provided to this site. Regarding the profiling numbers, many studies found on the internet indicate that the type of data collection and benchmarking provided by IDOT and Northwestern can neither substantiate or deny racial profiling. I believe that both police departments have indicated this as well in their respective reports. This is a difficult issue to quantify simply by data collection and the danger is for either side to establish conclusions based on bad information. The answers to these issues continues to be based on communications and communications must start with a mutual respect for the role that each side represents. I believe that you seem to be able to facilitate common ground for both, and for that you should be commended.

Thanks

Thanks. I grew up Catholic in the Springfield diocese, and vividly remember when the sexual abuse scandals exploded. One of those convicted (Alvin Campbell) was the priest I'd gone to for my First Confession. Our family had known another (Walter Weerts) personally. Within the last several years, there has been new legal action that suggested that the Weerts abuses were even more extensive than people had realized when he was arrested in the 1980s. Many Catholics perceived the priesthood as a noble profession, so the revelations of misconduct were painful. So does this mean that most Catholic priests are child molesters? No, but the majority of priests who don't prey on children don't make the big headlines either. Could we claim that the Church didn't really have a serious problem, then? No, the number of convicted priests establishes that it did, and the efforts to cover up the abuses and shuffle the offending priests to other parishes made the situation even worse. One of the underlying issues is that all of us are flawed human beings, and clergy are no exception. We could apply the same thinking to police. Are most of them bad people? I doubt it; in fact, I'd guess that many people become police officers because they want to do something good. Are there some bad cops? Most likely. I'm not sure if the issue is the size of the department; it seems like it might be more about the culture within that particular organization.

For Wayward

I got the all the CPD raw police stop data for 2005, immediately tossed anything that didn't have "champaign" in the driver's address city field, geocoded it, tossed anything that didn't geocode correctly with a score of 80 or better, further filtered by only those geocoded addresses that fell within champaign city limits and annexes (per the Regional Planning Commission data). After all that filtering, I ended up with about 33% of the data I started with, but I had high confidence that a) the data was of high quality and b) I had high confidence that the process I used to exclude and sample the data was not biased in any way in regards to driver's race. I compared that to census block 2000 data, again using data that fell only within champaign proper and annexes. What I found (among other things) was that for white vs black, and male vs female, the percentage differences between "ticket" and "no ticket" for a CPD traffic stop were statistically insignificant. FYI, the average person has just over a 50% chance of getting a ticket when stopped by a CPD officer. You also might be interested to know that the vast majority of service calls for fights occur in the immediate vicinity of bars (duh). Also, by a very wide margin, the highest number of service calls for crime in general (and burglary/theft in particular) are in the residential area of campustown (also duh). Now, I'm happy to have those results for myself, just to know that that particular accusation was blatantly false. The Northwestern report is one of the few attempts at having a solid basis on a macro level for accusations of police misconduct. Most everything else I've seen come from this website is anecdotal, and in my opinion, baseless as a standard for making broad generalizations. That's not to say that some accusations are unfounded, because I'm sure many are - but I agree with anon 5:49, in that you can't bring in a bag of dog poop from your neighbor's yard to claim that the entire yard is filled with poop. However, part of the deal I made with CPD to get the data was a) I would report my findings back to them, along with my processes and exclusions and b) I would hold my transitional data and results in confidence, and it would be up to CPD whether or not to release that information. It wasn't commissioned by them, and it wasn't requested by them. I did it a) for a grade, and b) for my own personal satisfaction. But as of this time, it is their proprietary information, and as far as I know, is not subject to FOIA. And by the way, it really bugs me that the Northwestern study made such a glaring error. They were comparing apples to oranges. The disparity stems from poor process - they used census 2000 data for Champaign proper as their base data, and compared raw numbers of minority groups who were ticketed by CPD against that data.

Thanks!

Thanks for your thorough answer. I also do GIS-related work and was very curious about your data and results. I would be interested in the differences in the numbers involving only Champaign proper vs Champaign and annexes. One thing we learned in a GIS-related class is that it helps to know an area well. Also, I've wondered about geocoding issues in C-U. ESRI is pretty much considered the industry standard for GIS, and for a class assignment, I used the ESRI Address Locator to geocode some addresses in C-U. It seemed to get most of them right, but some of the "guesses" were really bad. For example, "100 E University" + an Urbana zip would represent a different location than "100 E University" + a Champaign zip, but the software didn't seem to know that.

Explain this

We had a black resident of Champaign come to us yesterday. He has received 17 traffic tickets in 24 months. These were not for speeding violations or anything serious. Just petty seat belt stops, tail light out, etc. How do you explain this? BD

17 tickets in 24 months?

We had a black resident of Champaign come to us yesterday. He has received 17 traffic tickets in 24 months. These were not for speeding violations or anything serious. Just petty seat belt stops, tail light out, etc. How do you explain this? That's very interesting. Who was this guy? I'd like to see the dates and violations. According to the Illinois Secretary of State's website, "Your driver's license will be suspended if you are convicted of three traffic violations committed within any 12-month period." Source: http://www.cyberdriveillinois.com/publications/rules_of_the_road/rr_chap06.html How did he get 17 tickets in 24 months without getting his license suspended? And driving on a suspended license probably would not be considered a petty offense. If the Champaign County Circuit Clerk's office is not sending violations to the Secretary of State's office in a timely matter, that's a problem and maybe someone should talk with Linda Frank. (This actually happened with the driver who hit a cyclist while downloading ringtones - her license should have already been suspended, but the Circuit Clerk's office hadn't sent all of her violations to the Secretary of State.)

How do you explain this?

He wasn't wearing his seat belt, and his tail light was out?

BD; Any police officer will

BD; Any police officer will tell you that traffic violations are used as an investigative tool for almost every other crime. Drugs, burglaries, robberies, the list goes on and on. This is a mobile society and crime does not hitchhike, it has its own ride. Many noteable crimes in the US have their beginnings in a traffic stop ie: Oklahoma bombing. The Supreme Court has clearly established that a traffic stop can be used as a bases for a legal stop for more serious crimes. Police in the US use this tool to discover and prevent many crimes and in my opinion should continue. However, to answer your question above, you have to be able to answer my questions. 1. Does the individual violate these "petty" offenses? 2. Does the individual have other major offenses that he has been convicted and suspected of? 3. Are these tickets one agency or several agencies? 4. Can you verify by the clerks site that this individual truly has 17 in 24 months? 5. Are you just throwing out baseless allegations to incite a your theory? Thus far, I think there has been a series of useful, productive discussions. Please help keep it that way.

question ?

How many white male do you believe receive 17 or more ticket in a 24 month period? If he does have a background then is it your postion that it is okay for this type of treatment. Also since you have suggested the 5 questions then you hold that responsiblilty to investigate. BD question still remand unanswer. PDT

Dolinar's message not pertinent to the info

I only posted that my report said that the chances of getting a ticket for whites and for blacks - when stopped - are just over 50%, and the difference between them are statistically insignificant. Dolinar's question is 1) not a similar scenario to what I posted and 2) anecdotal evidence. The report contained other conclusions, but I'm not going to get into it here, and certainly not specifics, because CPD owns it now. Since I'm the one who did the report, I'm not really concerned with what anyone else thinks. I see no benefit (monetary or otherwise) in defending the CPD, and since its now their report, its not my place to release it. Basically, I could argue with folks like Dolinar until I'm blue in the face, but I'm not going to change his position; he would debate me if I stated that the sky was blue. Therefore, it doesn't really do me any good to try and bring up legitimate facts, so I'm not going to push the issue with CPD to allow me to release it. I have, however, satisfied to myself that my hunch (at least in that instance) was correct, and that that particular claim of institiutional racism is complete and utter garbage.

Not exactly peer-reviewed, then

I only posted that my report said that the chances of getting a ticket for whites and for blacks - when stopped - are just over 50%, and the difference between them are statistically insignificant. Dolinar's question is 1) not a similar scenario to what I posted and 2) anecdotal evidence. The report contained other conclusions, but I'm not going to get into it here, and certainly not specifics, because CPD owns it now.

Since I'm the one who did the report, I'm not really concerned with what anyone else thinks. I see no benefit (monetary or otherwise) in defending the CPD, and since its now their report, its not my place to release it.

Basically, I could argue with folks like Dolinar until I'm blue in the face, but I'm not going to change his position; he would debate me if I stated that the sky was blue. Therefore, it doesn't really do me any good to try and bring up legitimate facts, so I'm not going to push the issue with CPD to allow me to release it.

I have, however, satisfied to myself that my hunch (at least in that instance) was correct, and that that particular claim of institiutional racism is complete and utter garbage.

OK, let me get this straight. As a result of a study you've done, you're asserting that the results of Northwestern's earlier research are wrong. But all your data is confidential, which means that nobody can really review your work. So we're just supposed to accept conclusions posted by an anonymous user who's unwilling or unable to share the data s/he used. Sorry, I think I've got to go read about about Hwang Woo-Suk's human cloning research now.

Like I said...

...it really doesn't concern me what anyone else thinks. _I_ know that that particular assertion of profiling is BS. It doesn't affect me one way or another what CPD does or does not do, and it doesn't affect me one way or another what Dolinar thinks about what I found, since all he ever brings up is unsubstantiated individual case studies. This all started because some jerk thought I was just blowing smoke without knowing what was really going on. If you want to see the results, either get with CPD and schmooze them for the report, or get the raw data from them and do it yourself, since you are apparently proficient with GIS. You could even ask for the final geocoded points that I did (service calls and/or traffic stops), pre-analysis, to save you a lot of time and trouble. I got the original data at no cost and little effort just by being polite. If you get it the geocoded points, I'll give you the metadata personnally that describes my geocoding process in detail, so you can work your own study. Either way, I'm just happy that I've proven to myself that the only substantial "evidence" of racial profiling in champaign by CPD that I've ever seen provided is bunk.

Plenty of Evidence; You Just Prefer to Ignore It

Other than your vague trolling and assertions, you've spent your time in this thread ignoring the facts. This subject has been covered at length and in depth before. What's lacking is any evidence from you that the racially skewed figures on police actions against local minority populations is anything BUT blatant discrmination -- when the statistics show that you are simply working hard to ignore the fact that no other cause could conceivably be at the root of this problem. You asserted that "traffic violations are used as an investigative tool for almost every other crime." I'm sorry, but being pulled pver for traffic violations is rarely used as anything except a pretext to hassle those in minority population neighborhoods. Police know they can't get away with such crap in Cherry Hills or Stone Creek. Local statistics show lots of evidence of the skewed nature of the justice system in Champaign County: http://archive.ucimc.org/newswire/display_any/132678 I'll note that the rough statistical analysis in this article was later shown to actually _underestimate_ the targtting of minoriies in a more exacting analysis that Randall Cotton subsequently did. Unfortunately, I was unable to turn up that reference in this hasty reply to your obvious sandbagging. And steroids and cops? One only has to look at the two body types that predominate among local law enforcement -- the doughnut-fed Homer and the pumped-up police-freak. Local statistics are lacking, but one can only surmise there is something to such assertions based on abundant anecdotal evidence from other jusrisdictions that this could likely be a local issue, too: Police on steroids: An emerging problem Dopers in Uniform: Cops on Steroids All the rage Cops In Federal Corruption Case Told To Resign Steroid Abuse in Today's Society One obviously has to take anything that the DEA says about drugs with a grain of salt, but even they concede that "individuals in occupations requiring enhanced physical strength (body guards, construction workers, and law enforcement officers) are known to take these drugs." Of course, given the course of this thread, you'll just ignore the abundant evidence presented, you'll claim everyone else here is BSing you, and then you'll assert -- but not present -- any evidence to the contrary. Sorry, the rest of us will not join you with your head underneath the sand.

Actually...

...the highest levels of SERVICE calls - I'm not even talking about traffic stops - come first and foremost from campus, followed closely and evenly by four low/moderate-income areas: A: between the convergent E-W tracks, bounded by mattis and prospect (well integrated population); B: north of the E-W tracks, S of I-74, and W of the N-S tracks, E of Propect (well integrated population); C: between University and I-74, E of the N-S tracks and W of Goodwin (mostly black population); and D: between the E-W tracks and university, and between prospect and the N-S tracks (mostly white population). This is not the police initiating the event, this is from citizens initiating the event. The violent crime density raster (I didn't include drug related in that one) and the "all service call" density raster are almost identical to each other, and primarily for those areas. That should tell you something about a) where the crime is at, and b) where the police SHOULD be patrolling. There are hardly any service calls (relatively speaking) in the half of the city SW from a diagonal line from the NW to SE through the middle of the city (to include Cherry Hills, etc). So where do you think the cops should be? From my analysis, its NOT a white-black thing, its an income thing and an young-adult thing, and aside from area C, above (which actually has higher average property values than areas A, B or D, for income reference), race is not a hard-and-fast crime factor in Champaign. Now, you can make assumptions generalizations about donut-eating cops, or steroid freak cops, but it sure just sounds like the same prejudice and "race"ism toward police officers that you claim police officers show toward the black community - another unfounded and unscientific claim.

...and don't make assumptions

...and by the way, don't simply assume that all "anonymous" posters are me...cuz they're not, so not everything on here that's anon can be attributed to me. It should be fairly clear as to who is discussing critical analysis is not the same person(s) blowing smoke.

There's a Simple Way to Avoid Confusion

There's a simple way to avoid your being confused with others here -- sign up for an account. All it requires is a good email address. I must admit, reading through this, I see little difference and a lot of congruence among those who disagree with BD. Making claims you refuse to support with any evidence only adds to that presumption among regular users of this site -- versus those who are only dropping by to disagree and, quite frankly, troll. If you're concerned about being misunderstood or having the comments of others atrributed to you, the solution is as simple as that.

Ok the answer to BD's

Ok the answer to BD's question is this, this individual is making it up, and he did not received 17 tickets in 24 months. You cannot disprove a theroy that has never been proven in the first place. So this is simply a waste of time and it typical of the failed logic used by BD.

As opposed to...?

Ok the answer to BD's question is this, this individual is making it up, and he did not received 17 tickets in 24 months. You cannot disprove a theroy that has never been proven in the first place. So this is simply a waste of time and it typical of the failed logic used by BD. Oh, I see - BD's assertion of 17 tickets in 24 months is a lot different from someone who posts a non-peer-reviewed "study" with no supporting data, and expects people to uncritically accept the conclusions.

You know what?

Wayward: I'm kind of sick of this. You know what you're doing in GIS, I'm going to give you the geocoded points and my metadata, and you can conduct your own analysis and then you can tell me (and everyone else here) what you think. That way, you can conduct an independent investigation into what I've said, and verify it for yourself. Give me a good email address and I'll give you the geodatabase. It's 12 MB. I used street data from the county regional planning commission, everything else was from census 2000.

Thanks

Thanks. Hopefully, gmail will take large attachments - wayward710 "at" gmail "dot" com should work. If not, maybe I could ftp or download it.

Data transfer

All: I've been given the go-ahead by CPD to release the data to wayward. I've sent wayward an FTP link to get the geocoded points, for independent analysis of my work. I personally did the geocoding (which is what wayward now has), but there were three others who did the analysis with me, so if it comes down to critical comparison with wayward's work, I'll release the names of the pertinent individuals. I'm going to personally own up right now, and say that I've been a little (a lot) hasty in biting back on here. I'd like to start over - and I've expressed this to wayward over email - and be the first to say lets stop the "Nuh-uh! Uh-huh!" garbage, and work together to figure out what the ACTUAL problems are (based on solid macro-level evidence, not hearsay and dubious anecdotal evidence) and discuss reasonable fixes to the system, without resorting to shouting each other down. IP and UCIMC have begun to work together, lets continue the spirit. I generally tend to be right of center - but I'm extending a peace offering across the centerline. Consider the database my first peace offering.

data, data, data

Go to the courthouse. If anyone thinks this town's policedom doesn't racially patrol, then you are blind to the obvious. The fact remains, no matter what tortured proportions you want to draw from, police choose to ticket, arrest, file reports, and testify against minorities and poor folks far more often. Period. If campus were where most of the calls come from (and I do not doubt this for a second that this is so) you would think you would see more U of I students in our courtrooms. We don't. Never if ever does a student go to prison, or get charged quite the way blacks and the poor do in our county. Dance the dance of White Denial if it makes you feel better, but reality at the courthouse remains and doesn't get so easily explained away. How can there average 100 rapes a school year on campus (U of I stats) and not one Joey Fraternity goes to the joint?? Let me guess, money buys good lawyers?

Dance of White Denial

Do you think that this would be good background music for a Dance of White Denial? (I actually do have my own soldering iron!) Or do you think that a "Polka of White Denial" would be better?

Disappointed

Its very disconcerting that anyone would choose to not only ignore, but actively work against factual large-scale evidence before wayward's analysis is even released. The reason I gave wayward the data is because a) she's absolutely right in that peer review is essential to legitimate analysis and b) she's an activist, someone not likely to look at my results without intense scrutiny. The assumptions, accusations and racism so blatant in your post is appalling. I'm very dissapointed that the olive branch I've extended was chewed up like that.

registered username for easier target

I've registered a username with UCIMC. I'm the one who gave the data to wayward. Now there's no mistaking your target. :)

Leap to conclusions much?? Duh!

Yes, people of color are disproportionately represented in the criminal justice system in this country. I'll even let you ignore the fact that, in a majority of cases, their victims are also people of color. People of color are also disproportionately represented in the areas of teenage pregnancy, poverty, dropping out of school, victims of violent crimes (see sentence two), unemployment, abused and neglected children..... I can go on if you wish. There are varying opinions as to why this is the case, and reversing this trend is certainly a challenge that our society needs to face. Regarding the criminal justice system, get ten sociologists together to discuss all the variables affecting this situation and they'll agree on some and argue forever about others. Yet you will look at a situation as complex as this and conclude "racist cops." What grade do you think your eighth grade social studies teacher would have given you for this fine piece of cogent analysis? How would you explain it in a city like Memphis where a majority of the police department and city government is also black? You won't get any argument from most people involved in the legal system if you assert that affluence is a factor regarding outcome in some criminal cases. It shouldn't be, but it is. The names OJ Simpson and Robert Blake come to mind.... There is no doubt that our society faces real challenges, including the plight of people of color. However, if you're going to take the lazy way out and blame "the boggie man," or allow your personal biases to induce you to thoughtlessly indict an entire profession, you certainly won't be part of the solution, but have fun anyway! Never let the facts get in the way of a good story. Party on Garth!

Cooperation

You know something that's been overlooked...in my dealings with CPD, I never encountered any resistance to either obtaining any raw data (several months ago), or for obtaining permission to release it (requested and received yesterday) to another unknown (to CPD) individual for independent analysis. From day 1, CPD has made every effort to be accomodating and transparent with their records for 2005, never made any effort to block a request or conceal anything from anyone. I certainly think that counts for something - it shows that they don't feel that they have anything to hide, and that they're willing to show themselves to the community, warts and all. It sure seems to me like they're making an effort to be cooperative; perhaps the sentiment could be reciprocated?

You are a bunch of cowards!

Yesterday, I placed a response to the posting of Data Data Data called "leap to conclusions much?" where I commented quite pointedly and eloquently (I thought) on his ridiculous conclusion that cops are racist based merely on what he claims to see at the court house and you deleted my posting. What's the matter, afraid of honest debate??? Don't try to use the excuse that it was anonymous. You allow those all the time. If you're going to try to maintain that this site is a forum for honest exchanges of ideas, I challenge you to put it back on and let people read and respond to it.

Wrong direction

I think all sides have had their back up about this. Let's try not to let it turn into a pissing contest. Antagonizing doesn't further anyone's goals, it just irritates and ostracizes the other side. Your point was well made, but you can catch more flies with honey. I'm just as guilty as everyone else of being antagonistic, but I'm now trying to encourage others forment consensus and build bridges, especially regarding this issue. We don't always have to like what the other side thinks, but we do have to live in the same world as them.

Apologies

Sorry, we've had trouble with trolls and hate speech, and hiding posts has been a judgment call. I'll go ahead and unhide it.

My point exactly

My point was well made and these "free thinking" individuals decided to censor it. I guess that says a lot about who we're dealing with here.

Well, it did sound sort of

Well, it did sound sort of hostile, though I wouldn't have personally been inclined to hide it. Of course, we do have to "censor" some other stuff, like spam and hate speech.

OK Sorry I blew up!

Thank you for putting it back. I do find it curious that, of all the comments on this thread, mine was selected as hate speech??

Not hate speech

I think the person who hid it perceived it as a troll, not hate speech.

OK.... I was mistaken for a Troll

I guess I could see that....I do live under a bridge : ) Anyway, Wayward, (can I call you wayward?) Thank you.

Hey Wayward

I'ver got an actual log on now....somewhat less Troll-like I hope. In order to clean up the thread, you may feel free to "hide" all of the stuff after the post. Your call. And, again, thank you!

Call me...

Oh, as in "Call me Ishmael?" Wonder if we'll get anyone who chooses "Ahab" as a username?

Perhaps they will...

Ya gotta love Melville! "Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read." -Groucho Marx

Much appreciated

Thanks, Ishmael. And thank you too, wayward. This can be civil. I am on the right, and sometimes I am wrong; in the same vein, others sometimes disagree with me, and sometimes they are wrong. We (and by "we," I mean all of us) can work through our (and by "our," I mean all of us) problems, but we have to be able to drop our pride, admit when we're wrong, and try to stand in another person's shoes. In the same vein (and I'm just as guilty as the next person), we have to be able to take another opinion and recognize that even though that thought at that point in time is not our own, there was a lifetime of experiences and education that brought the other person to that thought - and snap judgements as to why are not helpful. Since I've been watching this site and IP (a couple of years now), the left and the right (and otherwise) haven't made much progress in dealing with each other. White, black, cops, civilians, everyone - the only way to fix the stalemate is civil diplomacy. This gut reaction stuff has got to stop. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but do we really want to allow our local (online, at least) community to stoop so far that we're just throwing insults without results? Antagonism only breeds antagonism. I'm not saying "why can't we all just get along," but I am saying "live and let live." Not every problem will be solved with discussion, but we can strive for perfection for the sake of striving for it, and a big part of that is being able to talk to each other civily.

The Secret Police is Here

This just in: The Champaign County State's Attorney has just made it courthouse policy that no discovery from the State's Attorney's office will be filed in the public court records. From now on, the state's discovery (i.e. police reports, list of witnesses, transcripts of testimony/interviews, essentially the evidence against the defendant) will be delivered to the public defender's office, or defense's private counsel. NO one from the public will be allowed to see the police reports since the public file will no longer be where those are kept. We won't see the evidence against the defendant and police will not have to be bothered with media or public scrutiny. They can write their reports any way they wish without having to worry about the stupid public looking on. Welcome to The Champaign County Secret Criminal Justice System. Shut up and pay your fines.

Source?

?

I'm Surprised to Hear that it was ever any other way?

The information in police reports is raw data and some of it should NEVER be made public. Say for instance, that the house across the street from you has been rented by White Supremacists. You can observe them carrying Meth making supplies in and out of the house. At night, you watch them holding meetings and illegally modifying firearms to make them fully automatic. One night, you notice that they seem to be making bombs in there. You finally decide to hold your nose and call the police, when you discover that they're also smoking cigarettes and pro-Chief. The police come out and take your information. Eventually, they infiltrate the group. (Should be easy for a bunch of cops to blend in there...right? ;o)) The police then go about building their case, independent of what you've told them and raid the place. The law allows the State to keep your identity secret as long as you're not directly involved in the case against these guys. However, if raw police reports were all made public, your name, address and phone number would all be right there. Not good! It makes perfect sense to me. Also, bear in mind that whatever the local S/A's Office decides to do, it still has to pass muster with the Circuit Court, State Appellate Court, State Supreme Court, Federal Appeals Court and US Supreme Court. Relax, I think we're still a long way from the Star Chamber. "Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read." -Groucho Marx

Not quite what you think

I'm not sure if there was an overall point there, but as far as the raw data goes, there wasn't any personal information in there except for -home address of driver for a traffic stop (no names, no phone numbers) in the traffic stop file That's the closest any data in the files would come to being able to ID anyone. There's also service call data with addresses, but the addresses were sometimes street addresses, sometimes street intersections, and sometimes things like "SW corner, Centennial Park;" however, that doesn't necessarily indicate a "home" of anyone involved in the service call, just the location of the call itself. The driver home addresses were necessary to geocode the points of persons getting stopped in a GIS in order to see if folks from any particular part of town were being excessively stopped - there really wasn't any way around that. I had asked for, and would have preferred, actual stop locations instead, but there apparently was some confusion when the secretary compiled the files for me. The actual police reports themselves were not given to me, just the consolodated electronic files for all CPD service call and traffic stop activity in 2005. None of the data explained any circumstances, just who (demographically speaking), when, where and what, and much of the "what" was encoded in a field with attributes like "noise" and "vandalism".

**ahem**

I was responding to the posting announcing the arrival of the "Secret Police." He was lamenting the fact that "We" would no longer have access to discovery and, specifically "police reports" and "witness lists" on cases that don't even involve us. I'm assuming by "we" he meant the public and not the Royal "We." I was pointing out (apparently not very well) that it's important that some of that information remain "secret." Furthermore, I was expressing surprise that Discovery was ever handled in any other way than he describes. I wasn't talking about anything given to you. "Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read." -Groucho Marx

my bad

...misunderstanding on my part.

Red Herring?

The law allows the State to keep your identity secret as long as you're not directly involved in the case against these guys.
However, if raw police reports were all made public, your name, address and phone number would all be right there. Not good!

I'm wondering if this argument is a bit of a red herring, since these things will apparently be available to the defense anyhow. However, there are certain other things that really should not be publicly available.

Not necessarily

There are indeed very specific circumstances where that persons name need NEVER be revealed to anyone. It's a delicate balancing act that pits a defendent's right to "face their accuser" against a desire to protect the safety of a citizen who merely makes the police aware of a criminal circumstance. The State must be able to make it's case independently in order to do this. Consequently, the State winds up being "the accuser" and not the original "tipster." The State's case can't be "this nameless, facelss guy says you did X" It can, however, be "after receiving information that you may be doing X, we looked into it and we saw/heard/photgraphed/ filmed/ or otherwise documented you doing X." The state then has to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that, based solely on their investigation that you did X. "Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read." -Groucho Marx

Snitch Culture: Yeah, It's UnAmerican

Yes, secret tipsters are exactly the way the Stasi operated in East Germany and secret police, in general, behind the Iron Curtain and also on this side, have always operated. It's bullshit and always will be. Hopefully, at some point, those getting ahead because of this scummy system will eventually have to answer for their own crimes, just as several Polish priests have in recent days. Thanks for reminding us all that freedom is a constant struggle -- and that those who post the flag in their courtrooms and wear it on the shoulders of their uniforms often trample it under their jackboots.

That was uncalled for

"Thanks for reminding us all that freedom is a constant struggle -- and that those who post the flag in their courtrooms and wear it on the shoulders of their uniforms often trample it under their jackboots." This is indymedia at its finest? This is the free speech "you" work so hard for? Good reporting, thorough analysis, keep up the hard work.

Helps Make My Point

"The very word 'secrecy' is repugnant in a free and open soecity; and we are as a people inherently and historically opposed to secret societies, to screct oaths and to secret proceedings." John F. Kennedy [quoted in the classified ad section of tonight's News-Gazette] Yes, I know JFK was a poster child himself for the misuses of secrecy in some ways. But he was right about how real Americans regard secrecy as being at odds with American values. The "drug war" -- which is failed just as surely as the war in Iraq -- is no exception.

Snitch???? OK, brave Mr. Anonymous

I assume from the salty nature of your post that you're familiar with the vernacular of the street. If you are, then I'm sure you realize that the term "snitch" is generally reserved for either turncoat co-conspirators, who have been apprehended and inform on their comrades in order to mitigate their culpability, or those who are strictly paid informants. If you read carefully the example I gave, you would notice that the "tipster" in this case is neither. (Maybe I should type slower next time...) In any event, I will do you the courtesy of assuming that you are not intellectually vaccuous enough to assert that no one should ever call the police for any reason. I would also like to believe that you are astute enough to realize that there are people out there who would think nothing of killing an innocent person for calling the police to report a crime, epsecially if that call ultimately led to their own arrest. I would further mention that I was careful to point out that the protected person CANNOT be the defendant's ultimate accuser. The State must make their case independently, otherwise the identity of the reporting person could be subject to disclosure. So there! "Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read." -Groucho Marx

Where do you draw the line?

Yes, secret tipsters are exactly the way the Stasi operated in East Germany and secret police, in general, behind the Iron Curtain and also on this side, have always operated. It's bullshit and always will be.

Frankly, I think it matters what you're reporting. For example, if it smells like someone's smoking pot in their apartment, I wouldn't see any point in calling the police because the odor would be a fairly minor nuisance. If it seemed like someone was cooking meth or abusing a kid, I probably would call the police.

OK

There are indeed very specific circumstances where that persons name need NEVER be revealed to anyone.
It's a delicate balancing act that pits a defendent's right to "face their accuser" against a desire to protect the safety of a citizen who merely makes the police aware of a criminal circumstance.

OK, that makes sense. In 2003, I remember this woman (Cri Cri Frank) who apparently torched the apartment building next door to me, and she was a little scary. For example, it didn't seem to bother her that one of the residents might have been killed if a neighbor hadn't knocked on her door. So I can understand why potential informants might be a bit uneasy about having very personal information available to the public.

Friendly neighbors

The information in police reports is raw data and some of it should NEVER be made public. Say for instance, that the house across the street from you has been rented by White Supremacists. You can observe them carrying Meth making supplies in and out of the house. At night, you watch them holding meetings and illegally modifying firearms to make them fully automatic. One night, you notice that they seem to be making bombs in there.

You finally decide to hold your nose and call the police, when you discover that they're also smoking cigarettes and pro-Chief. The police come out and take your information. Eventually, they infiltrate the group. (Should be easy for a bunch of cops to blend in there...right? ;o))

Hmmm... illegally trafficking in weapons and drugs. Would their position on the Chief help the police determine whether the people were racist whackjobs or just patriotic CIA agents doing their job? :)

Hmmmm..... Never thought of that. Nice plot twist!

"Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read." -Groucho Marx

Cop Watch

I missed getting the word on the meeting but I think Cop Watch is definatly a good idea. Just keep an eye out for cops and the way they act when you're out. And if you're a girl make sure you get a badge WITH a number and a city on it, there's lots of reports of fake cops pulling women over. Crack the window, don't roll it all the way down, don't open the door. If you see lights behind you pull over right away so he doesn't have justification to insist you get out. Look on his belt and see if he's got all his typical cop shit, and a radio. If he wants you to get out to take a breath test call someone first and tell them where you are and that you got pulled over by a cop, give a physical description. If he gives you shit about it tell him why you're being precautious.

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