The Usual Suspects? Study Finds Majority of Police Abuse Cases Involve Same Small Group Of Officers

143px-Chicagopd_jpg_w300h294There is an interesting study out that a relatively small number of officers are responsible for over half of police abuse claims. We have seen similar results in studies of malpractice cases of doctors. Yet, this small group of officers not only tarnish the reputations of all officers but cost massive amounts of money. Marketplace reports that Chicago paid out more than half a billion dollars over 10 years in police misconduct cases. This is a city that is facing junk bond status and the threat of insolvency.

Law professor Craig Futterman, who runs the University of Chicago’s Civil Rights and Police Accountability Project, has done some interesting work in this area. His study of the Chicago Police Department found the same officers fueling these costs. It suggests that a better job of self-policing could result in substantial savings for police departments and more importantly greater protection for citizens.

UCLA law professor Joanna Schwartz has found similar results. She notes however that most cities still resist keeping records that would help identify such officers and track patterns. This would seem to offer obvious areas of reform for departments. We have certainly seen anecdotally that officers involved in controversies often seem to have checkered histories of prior lawsuits or serious complaints. The problem is the political will to implement the academic findings.

58 thoughts on “The Usual Suspects? Study Finds Majority of Police Abuse Cases Involve Same Small Group Of Officers”

  1. G De La Paz – cities and town in Arizona have a mayor/council/city manager government. The mayor and council are elected, they hired the city (town manager) and that person selects all the people to be hired (police, judges, streetsweepers, etc.) and those names are brought to the council to be hired. They are discussed in private, hired in public. Same with anything that is purchased for the city/town.

    1. Ken Rogers – if they are decades old, the DNA testing was in its infancy, expensive, lengthy etc. Now they can get results almost immediately. But they did save the evidence, which is a good thing.

      1. Paul C. Schulte

        My Father used to have a Trailer in Mesa. He and my Stepmom would go there in the winter and he would hike until he went blind. He loved the desert and the fresh air

  2. One is an equal, two bullies, and three or more a gang.
    Paul, there are a lot of blacks in the Mesa area, probably not as many as in Chicago or Missouri. The Arizona police depts. may have a different way of apprehending violators, compared to other cities–I don’t know for sure.

    It takes the American public to vote in a good chief of police, mayor, and council people. If these communities are illiterate, lazy, or refuse to listen and learn, then they’re going to get below average leaders. I would hope these past incidents would wake up the people and they would start educating themselves about their candidates, then vote to make positive changes.

    1. G De La Paz

      Well, there you go girl

      Did you see the people outside the Mayor’s humble abode in black face? In Ferguson that is. If you are interested you can google Ferguson and their Black population has gone up to 61 percent in recent years however, all of those people were in black face.

      What does that tell you about the people who actually go to the polls?

      Well, since I was a resident for many years and usually white people ran and white people were at the polls, that is who was elected

      If they want to elect a black person, they need to represent themselves right?

    2. G De La Paz – Mesa AZ is 64% white (non-Latino) and 3.5% black. As I said, there are not a lot of blacks in Mesa, AZ.

  3. I did not think for a minute you would, Paul. But of course you veered off on a tangent to make a point that had nothing whatsoever to do with any of my posts. Bye-bye.

  4. Thanks for misrepresenting my post, Paul. We can always count on you for that.

    I did not say doctors weren’t allowed to ask HOW MANY guns in your house. They are not allowed to ask if you have ANY guns in your house–something a rookie epidemiologist can tell you increases your child’s risk of injury and death. They ARE allowed to ask you about other risk factors, like owning a swimming pool, storage of chemicals and prescriptions in the house, and so on.

    Which is precisely why the gun lobby got Congress to forbid the CDCP from studying gun accidents, deaths, etc. for so many years.

    But thanks for playing.

    1. PhillyT – I do not think it is any of my doctor’s business unless I come in with a gun shot wound.

  5. This is the old 80/20 rule that everyone in business knows well. 80 percent of your problems come from 20% of your employees, 20% of your customers, etc. The reverse is also often true, wherein 80 percent of the good work gets done by 20 percent of the employees. And so on.

    What I found most surprising was that so many police, commissions, cities, etc., don’t keep track of the data. While on second thought, I suppose they don’t really want to know. Like not being allowed to use the phrase “climate change” in Florida, or not allowing doctors to discuss whether or not there is a gun on the home. Problem solved!

    1. PhillyT – the doctor doesn’t tell me how many guns he has in his home.

  6. And yet the overwhelming majority of “good cops” stay silent about the “bad cops” in their company… Odd relationships, NO?

  7. “By “rouge cops” do you mean the ones with florid faces from drinking too much, and who are therefore more likely to be violent when rousting “lazy miscreants playing xbox and knocking up their baby mommas”?”

    Boy you are really living in the past there pal. Today’s NYPD is more more likely to be the two officers who were gunned down by a Michael Brown protester. Asian or Hispanic or black or lesbian. The stereotype of the big fat florid faced Irish cop is almost a thing of the past now. The cops get their disdain towards these “youtes” through their own interaction with them. It doesn’t come from out of the air. Keep living in your dreamworld where the problem is the cops killing people and not the criminal element killing people.

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