Listening to the news today, an item came on that most people probably filed away in their subconscious memories. Not me; it was a kick in the gut. I love the Seattle Police Department, which I’ve proudly served for over twenty years. Sadly, the City’s mayor doesn’t share my sentiments.
A Seattle U. professor–and common sense–discredited the now infamous Department of Justice (DOJ) report on the Seattle Police Department (Not that you’d know this facet from Seattle’s media) use of force. Despite this, today’s newscast announced that the mayor said the city is about half way through implementing its 20/20 Initiative in order to, “reform the police department,” with regard to its excessive use of force. Trying to fix something that isn’t broken is the surest way to break it.
Professor Matthew Hickman, a criminal justice professor and former DOJ statistician, found there may have been excessive force in closer to 3%–may have been–compared to the DOJ’s ludicrous conclusion of 20%. For a year, Professor Hickman studied all of the cases compared to the DOJ’s study of approximately 1/4 to 1/3 of the cases. Also, the professor made his methodology known; the DOJ refused to disclose how they arrived at their results. This flawed report generated the embarrassing and insulting consent decree, to which Seattle’s leadership surrendered its police department’s integrity and hard-earned sterling national reputation.
The insult is to one of the finest, and cleanest, police departments in the nation. It’s bad enough when such disparagement comes from outsiders such as the DOJ, but when the cops’ own boss is the source of perpetuating corrupt information, it is nothing less than shameful.