This is the kind of media coverage that makes me crazy and it’s contributing to the what we are seeing now. Here is the article: Officer seen pushing teen during protest has been accused of unnecessary force and racial profiling. The article then explains how this officer has had 71 use of force IA investigations in his career. At first I thought, Holy Shit, what an asshole. They my bullshit meter went off based on my experience as a cop and I got suckered into reading the article.
Curious how many people actually read the article? Why? Right after it says that he has had 71 IA investigations, as a pejorative, it goes on to explain that at the organization “Internal Affairs automatically looks into a case when an officer notes in their report that use of force was required regardless of whether a complaint was made.”
So, let’s break down the numbers. I was a cop in Scottsdale for 21 years before I retired. 7 of my 21 were public facing, in that I worked Patrol or a Patrol-based unit where I responded to calls for service. I averaged between 10-12 civilian interactions per shift (we kept logs that we had to sum each month). That’s 40-48 (I worked 4-10s) interactions per week. I probably worked 50 out of 52 weeks per year, that’s 2000 interactions per year over seven years, so 14,000 total interactions. The last 13 years of my career I was a detective that was desk-bound. During those years, let’s say I had only 5% of the interactions I had when on Patrol (2000 per year x 13 years x 5% = 1300 more). So let’s round that up to 15,300 total civilian interactions in my career. Based on DOJ statistics and recent scientific studies (ie., 2017, Fryer, Harvard), 15% of all police interactions require some use of force. Let’s say, for sake of argument, that I was a super nice cop and used force 1/3 of the national average, so in 5% of my public interactions (actually, let’s say I was yoked and nobody wanted to fight me because I was so intimidating). That means in my career I should have been expected to have somewhere in the area of 765 uses of force documented in my IA file if Scottsdale “automatically looks into a case when an officer notes in their report that use of force was required regardless of whether a complaint was made.”
Let’s take is a step farther. Recent studies also show that cops pull their guns in .26% of interactions. Again, I’m “nice cop” and only pulled my gun 1/3 of the national average. 15,300 x .26 x 5% = which means that I probably pulled my gun out and pointed it at someone 199 times in by 21 year career. Well shit, the article says the officer pulled his gun 51 times in his career. I must have been an asshole doing it 148 more times than he did.
Guess what, in 21 years I had not a single use for force complaint against me. Nor did I have a single complaint of selective enforcement based on race. How can that be with those number!?
Image “765” in the headline to show what a brutal and racist cop I was. Read the articles, not just the headlines. For those that actually did, use some critical thinking skills. Perspective. Please have some.