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An Ex-Cop Keeps The Country’s Best Data Set On Police Misconduct


Stashed in: Awesome, Crime!, Po Po!, Nate Silver

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Criminologist makes clever use of everyday technology like Google Alerts and Twitter to track police misconduct. Frighteningly monumental task in America though :(

I did not realize a person could build a big database like this just using Google Alerts.

The whole data-collecting operation is powered by data-collecting operation is powered by 48 Google Alerts that Stinson set up in 2005, along with individual Google Alerts for each of nearly 6,000 arrests of officers. He has set up 10 Gmail addresses to collect all the alert emails, which feed articles into a database that also contains court records and videos.

This was surprising to me:

His data has shown that even the few police officers who are arrested for drunken driving are rarely convicted and that arrests spike for cops who have been on the force 18 years or longer, contrary to prior research showing it was mostly new officers who were acting out.

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