by Mr. Charrington on June 18, 2012

“When we are dealing with the police as an institutional structure, we are not dealing with a group of individuals acting on their own personal feelings and judgements, but rather, with a group of functionaries who have, as part of the terms of their jobs, agreed to set their personal opinions and feelings aside and instead act as obedient agents of the state… Thus, if we are referring to “the police” as an institution, rather than the personal feelings of individual police, no, they are not “part of the 99%”, they are the enforcers of the 1%’s power.” — David Graeber, PHD Professor of Anthropology

Would you say that Nazi soldiers were all corrupt? I would. Were there individual Nazi soldiers who were good people that were probably just led astray? Probably. But we would still say that Nazi soldiers were corrupt, wouldn’t we? Yes, I think so.

The same logic is applied to American police in their current form. No one cares if there are good individual police. The institution, as a whole, is corrupt. That’s the point. This “there are some good cops” rhetoric attempts to deny this by pointing out irrelevant opinions about individual officers.

“According to the 3rd Quarter Report of The National Police Misconduct Statistics and Reporting Project, police officers were accused of sexual assault at a rate of 79 per 100,000 law enforcement personal. The rate of accusations for the general public is 28.7 per 100,000 general public. When corrected for gender these numbers tell us that there are 1.5 times more accusations of sexual assault among male law enforcement officers than among the general male population. The fact that rapists seem to be concentrated among a group of armed individuals who have the purported authority to detain and arrest other individuals should be more than a little alarming for even the most prolific police bootlicker.”

cop stats

“As you can see, when we examine violent crime statistics, law enforcement officers appear to be involved in violent crime in a comparable rate with the general population. 432 officers out of every 100,000 compared to 454.5 people out of every 100,000. So, roughly 0.43% vs 0.45%.

Both seem like small numbers, don’t they? Yet most people would probably tell you that they are worried about the rate of violent crimes… but not police misconduct even though both occur at similar rates statistically.

If you’re wondering about the homicide rates, “Homicide Charged” compares the number of alleged homicides in general population with the number of police officers actually charged with homicide or murder. The “Homicide” number compares the same general population statistic with the number of officers involved in questionable non-vehicular homicide deaths including deaths in custody as a result of excessive force that were not charged as homicides.”

“The statistic for sexual assaults is the stunner for us though. 29.3 per 100,000 in the general population vs 73.3 per 100,000 for law enforcement officers. That would seem to catch people’s attention as a problem, but apparently it doesn’t.

So, you see, it’s all a matter of context. Sure, .073% is a small percentage of the population of police officers in the US, but that number represents 522 officers per year and is a larger, by over 2x, ratio of the population of police than are the number of alleged sexual assailants in the US general population at .029%.

So, the next time you find yourself challenged by a law enforcement officer who says that police misconduct isn’t a problem because it only represents a small percentage of the number of police officers in the US. Remember that it really does represent a small percentage but so does crime in the general population but that doesn’t stop people from worrying so much about it that they’ll spend a majority of their tax dollars to fight it.”

“When current data is filtered to examine only incidents that can be classified as violent crimes as specified per the US FBI/DOJ Uniform Crime Reporting standards and then compared with the 2009 FBI/DOJ UCR Crime in the United States report as a per capita general population and per capita law enforcement basis the results indicate that overall violent crime rates are not too divergent between the two population groups with a difference of only 20.1 per 100k point between the two. However, there appear to be some more significant differences at a more granular level with robbery rates for police far below those reported for the general population but sexual assault rates are significantly higher for police when compared to the general population.”

police brutality stats

“While the rate of police officers officially charged with murder is only 1.06% higher than the current general population murder rate, if excessive force complaints involving fatalities were prosecuted as murder the murder rate for law enforcement officers would exceed the general population murder rate by 472%.”

But most cops are good right? It’s just “a few that spoil the bunch.”

In today’s American society, if you don’t suggest this propaganda at the end of any comment regarding police brutality, you’re labeled as anti-police, or perhaps a conspiracy theorist.

I just want to set the record straight: I am not anti-police. I am anti to the current form of law enforcement we have today. For far too long I have believed that the police have the ability to “adjust” the law, to serve it in any form they see fit. And what bothers me most is the fact that when one police officer does wrong, there are VERY few officers who will stand up for what it is right and come forward about the abuses perpetrated by their fellow officers. A lot of officers would say they wouldn’t rat on their “brother”. But in my opinion, this makes those officers complicit and equally responsible under the law as an accomplice.

So the next time you see a video of 12 cops, 5 of which are beating the shit out of a suspect, don’t just castrate the 5 cops who are clearly to blame. Ask yourself: What about the other 7? Why didn’t they come forward? Why weren’t those cops stopping the others? THEN… tell me it’s just a spoiled few in the bunch.

And just for good measure:

police brutality stats 2
law enforcement


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{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

David Cramer 07.07.12 at 8:53 pm

The police population is consists of primarily young to middle aged adult males. What demographic makes up the general population surveyed? Are we comparing apples to apples or apples to oranges.

If you were to say compare the statistics between white and negro populations and present your conclusions as an indictment of a group and not individuals you would be called racist. If you were to do the same thing between men and women, you’d be called sexist. What is the term for condemning all cops for the actions of a few? Perhaps we should create one.

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I told my kids we’d play after I found what I needed. Damnit. 02.19.16 at 6:05 am

That’s cleared my thoughts. Thanks for contributing. 02.19.16 at 6:09 am

When you think about it, that’s got to be the right answer. 02.19.16 at 6:17 am

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