USA TODAY Launches Police Misconduct Database

Published On May 1, 2019 | By Tom Huskerson | News and Analysis

Reporters from USA TODAY and hundreds of affiliated newsrooms partnered with the Chicago nonprofit, Invisible Institute, and spent over a year creating a massive database of police misconduct records.

Records from thousands of state agencies, prosecutors, police departments and sheriff’s offices reveal at least 200,000 alleged and previously unreported misconduct. The group found records of more than 110,000 internal affairs investigations by hundreds of individual departments. The records also reveal that over 30,000 officers have been decertified by 44 state oversight agencies.

The records, never before made public, reveal that many infractions are minor. But other incidents are not so easily dismissed. USA TODAY found 22,924 investigations of cops using excessive force, 3,145 rape allegations, child molestation and other sexual misconduct and 2,307 cases of domestic violence by officers.

Cops are supposed to be honest but records reveal otherwise especially when trying to protect friends. According to USA TODAY at least 2,227 instances of perjury, evidence and witness tampering or falsifying reports were found. There were 418 reports of officers obstructing investigations that targeted someone they knew.

If you have a problem with a police officer you need to go over his head to his department and report any and all incidents of suspected misconduct. You can search the USA TODAY database of de-certified officers and report suspected misconduct here. The site also offers a feature where you can share your information anonymously if you like.

Breaking It Down

One of the biggest problems I see in police departments is that they have a bad habit of re-hiring disgraced officers. A cop, knowing he was in trouble in one department, will quit and move elsewhere. Over and over again we see cops at the center of controversies that should not be cops in the first place.

Black people have a real issue with police racial bias. And all too often we find out that the officer acting unfairly has done it before. We need more openness when it comes to our police force. But the truth of the matter is that there is the blue wall of silence. Cops protecting cops. And the reports get buried and destroyed.

Right now in California there is an effort by multiple police departments to destroy records of all kinds of police activity from payroll scandals to official misconduct. And its legal! The City of Inglewood, CA is set to destroy the official records of over 100 police shootings.

So how the hell is this even possible? Why are citizens not allowed to see the official records of police shooting citizens? Just what the hell is going on?

We need organizations like USA TODAY and the Invisible Institute to shine the light on the police. This database will help but is not the final answer. We, black people especially, need more stringent police accountability.

But to really break it down it’s like this; far too many people think that movements like “Black Lives Matter” are overboard or out of bounds when it comes to the police. Not so! The bottom line is that we would like to trust the police. But the reality is we can’t!

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About The Author

Tom Huskerson Bio Born in Richmond Virginia Tom Huskerson is a military veteran who settled in California after his discharge. He attended Santa Barbara City College where he began his writing career as a campus reporter. He worked as an intern news reporter for the Santa Barbara News-Press writing feature stories before moving on to San Francisco. At San Francisco State University Tom studied broadcast communications and began to focus on the Internet. He completed his graduate thesis on Internet advertising. Tom was the first student to ever focus on the Internet as a graduate student at San Francisco State University. After graduation he went to work for Zona Research in California’s Silicone Valley. As a research associate Tom supported senior analyst writing on the latest developments in the Internet industry. During the dot com boom Tom worked for several web businesses as a market researcher and analyst. As a writer and researcher Tom has authored various technical works including a training program for Charles Schwab security. Other projects included professional presentations on workplace violence and hiring security contractors. Tom has returned to focus on writing both fiction and non-fiction works and blogging for a travel website. He has published two books of short stories and completed two novels. Tom is the owner of Scribe of Life Literature and EbonyCandle. Most recently Tom has launched the blog African American Cyber Report. The blog is the result of his desire to inform the African American community of the dangers and benefits of the cyber age. In his blog Tom reports on information security, new and analysis, scams and hoaxes, legal happenings and various topics that arise from the age of information. Tom believes that technology is a necessary tool for black people and they should know what is happening. Tom writes believing that techno speak is for the professional and that valuable information can be communicated using plain language. As a result he has embraced the motto, Less Tech, More Knowledge.

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