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CATO Institute launches website to monitor and report police misconduct.

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posted on May, 29 2012 @ 11:22 AM
Now you can keep track of every incident of police misconduct throughout the nation from one website. The CATO Institute has created a website to monitor and track incidents of police misconduct in the hopes of bringing this problem to light and encouraging the public to find a solution to this problem.

Cato Institute Starts National Police Misconduct Reporting Project

The conservative think tank Cato Institute has announced its latest effort to hold local police accountable by establishing its National Police Misconduct Reporting Project. Its purpose is to “determine the extent of police misconduct in the United States, identify trends affecting police misconduct, and report on issues about police misconduct in order to enhance public awareness on issues regarding police misconduct in the U.S.”

The institute obtains its data from all media sources, and the facts are verified by its staff before being posted on the website. Further, the staff working on the project want to be notified by readers of any errors of fact, and are open to receiving information about other incidents reported in the media that they haven't vetted yet.

Cato staff use media accounts rather than civil or criminal court records because “only a fraction of the incidents that occur actually wind up in litigation” and “very few instances of police misconduct are actually prosecuted.” Besides, most states prevent police departments from releasing such information or else permit them to keep the details secret from the public. Says the Cato website:

There is a fundamental lack of information about police misconduct in the U.S. and we are simply trying to do what we can to find the truth about how extensive a problem police misconduct really is….

This project can help police do their jobs better since gaining the trust of the public helps them gather the information and cooperation they need to do their jobs effectively.

The New American

The site already has cataloged over 80 pages of incidents of police abuse with new updates everyday. I say this is a good thing as corrupt police officers will be brought to the public's attention and it will be harder for departments to hide their crimes behing the "thin blue line".

The New American fears that the site is overly sensational, comparing it to the National Inquirer. They fear that it could be used for some type of Federal oversite or takeover of local police departments.

They may also be totally unaware that the project's apparently sensational presentation of police misconduct may be playing into the hands of those whose interest is in attacking the credibility currently enjoyed by local police officers from the citizens who employ them. By loosening those bonds of credibility, the argument for national control of local police authorities begins to gain traction.

In 1958, in an effort to create a national police force, various means were being employed to convince the populace at large to question police behavior and intentions, so The John Birch Society (JBS) created a project entitled Support Your Local Police (SYLP) and Keep Them Independent.

They do have a point. There is an element of society that thinks that only the Federal government can solve their problems and are willing to hand control over to them to deal with out-of-control police departments or unaccountable officers. I doubt this would be very effective in solving the problem however as the more separated the police become from the local government, the less accountable they become to the people they serve. Just look at the TSA if you want to see how Federal accountability works out.

Handing control of the police over to the Feds will make them even less accountable than they are now. At least a small handful of people can influence the results of a local election to get their local government to respond to their concerns. Only highly paid lobbiests can get throught to the centers of power in Washington.

This is a good tool for holding police officers accountable for their actions so long as people remember that accountability only comes with local control of police departments.

edit on 5/29/12 by FortAnthem because:
_________ extra DIV

posted on May, 29 2012 @ 11:54 AM
How is this different from all the other sites out there that track the same thing? Do you really need more proof of police misconduct?

posted on May, 29 2012 @ 03:05 PM
reply to post by MrWendal

I did a quick search and all I turned up was Copwatch.

The site is obviously very anti-cop while the CATO site acknowledges that this is just a small minority of cops involved in this type of behavior. The thing that really turned me off from Copwatch though was the fact that they wanted you to REGISTER to look at their database. The CATO site gives unrestricted access to their whole site from what I can tell.

I don't trust a site that makes you register, even if for free, to see the contenet of their site. You never know who your information is being passed on to. With that being an anti-cop site, I wouldn't be surprised if it was set up by the Feds to make a list of potential "domestic terrorists". Even if it weren't set up by the gubment, you can bet that they could get a subpoena to see their membership list or just hack their files for the info.

No thank you. I would rather browse a site like that anonymously.

posted on May, 29 2012 @ 03:14 PM
nice site but i think they should add all law enforcement, including federal, homeland security and the TSA as well.
that would surely keep things in order because we all know the thugs come in many uniforms.

posted on May, 29 2012 @ 06:22 PM
reply to post by LittleBlackEagle

The site is still new and I hope they aren't done adding features and stuff. Hopefully, they will create different sections for local police and Federal law enforcement agencies and TSA outrages. I'm sure the TSA alone could fill up a few dozen webpages just from all the crap they pull.

Lets hope they add those features as the site develops. I wonder if they have a suggestions box somewhere?

posted on May, 29 2012 @ 06:40 PM
before it is done you will need something like the utah data center to hold it all

I have seen more than one "copwatch" website and the real problem is: We all see it every day and still nothing is done about it.

I am a law-abiding citizen married with two kids and i would turn from an officer as soon as i would turn from "drug dealer" or "thug" looking type. I live in central california and let me assure you in some areas the "bad apples" are more than the good ones
edit on 29-5-2012 by eazyriderl_l because: (no reason given)

posted on May, 29 2012 @ 07:18 PM
reply to post by FortAnthem

Given CATO's reputation, I believe their attempt will be adamant while recognizing that not all law enforcement engage in the type of behavior they are trying to bring to light.

posted on May, 29 2012 @ 08:11 PM

Originally posted by eazyriderl_l
before it is done you will need something like the utah data center to hold it all

You ain't kidding; they've only been online for one week and they already have 88 pages of documented abuse.

So our new website has been up for about a week now and I just wanted to express my thanks for the enthusiastic support we have received so far. Thanks also for the news tips — keep’em coming!


In the immortal words of Sheriff Brody; "We're gonna need a bigger boat".

edit on 5/29/12 by FortAnthem because:
___________ extra DIV

posted on May, 29 2012 @ 08:18 PM
reply to post by MrWendal

"The Cato Institute is the foremost upholder of the idea of liberty in the nation that is the foremost upholder of the idea of liberty." - George F. Will

"If you're looking for a consistent commitment to preserving all forms of individual liberty, join the Cato Institute." - Wendy Kaminer, The American Prospect

"Cato is now the hot policy shop, respected for not compromising its core beliefs even when they get in the way of practical politics." - Washington Post

The Cato Institute is a public policy research organization — a think tank — dedicated to the principles of individual liberty, limited government, free markets and peace. Its scholars and analysts conduct independent, nonpartisan research on a wide range of policy issues.

The Cato Institute does not undertake lobbying efforts, back political candidates, or engage in direct political activities.

Cato is not associated with any political organization or party — Republican, Democrat, Libertarian, or other.

Cato is a think tank, dedicated to increasing and enhancing the understanding of key public policies and to realistically analyzing their impact — positive, adverse, and other — on the tenets Cato is dedicated to protecting — individual liberty, limited government, free markets, and peace.

Cato is committed to expanding civil society while reducing political society. The differences: In civil society individuals make choices about their lives while in a political society someone else makes or attempts to greatly influence those choices.

Their findings may point us toward getting laws changed/enforced to protect citizens against police brutality.

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