We built the first Scorecard to evaluate policing in California
May 31, 2019 11:11 AM   Subscribe

Campaign Zero built a scorecard to evaluate police in 100 California cities. They just published their findings, including an in-depth explanation of their methodology.
posted by Altomentis (9 comments total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
 
The only city to get an A grade is... Carlsbad, fifth richest city in the state and one of the richest in the country. What a surprise!
posted by inire at 11:26 AM on May 31 [3 favorites]


This is a very smart idea. The methodology seems good enough and the resulting analysis is easily quotable in the brief soundbites of evening news. It has the potential of making police look bad not compared to general social standards (murdering people is bad), but compared to other police forces in the same state.

I think calling out Carlsbad PD as scoring highest on the measures is especially smart. The best result from something like this would be Carlsbad quoting this study on PR materials. The corollary to that would be some enterprising GoFundMe person buying a billboard ad in Beverly Hills calling their PD the most violent and racist, and least accountable.

If police buy into using these measures (instead of utterly moronic ones such as number of arrests), California could have less terrible police services.
posted by booksarelame at 1:28 PM on May 31 [4 favorites]


Wow, this looks REALLY interesting.

I wish there were slightly more (or at least clearer) info available - I'm trying to dig down a bit and I'm not quite understanding the graphic I'm looking at:

The de-escalation chart from point 3 of the Key Findings highlights this finding:
We identified four departments that adopted new use of force policies requiring de-escalation during the 2016-2017 period - Stockton, Sacramento, San Francisco, and Los Angeles. All four departments had fewer police shootings in 2018, after these policies were enacted, than their average shootings rate during the years prior to this policy’s enactment.
The image struck me because the massive drop in Stockton makes the drops in San Francisco and Los Angeles look pretty small in comparison. But I'd really like to translate those numbers into absolute numbers: Am I correct that Stockton had 19.5 shootings per arrest back in 2016? And if so, how many actual shootings was that, and how many total arrests, and how many shootings and arrests in 2018 when the rate dropped to 3.2? And how many individual shootings in San Francisco and Los Angeles? In other words: how many actual individual people did these changes affect? Because a rate drop from 19.5 to 3.2 seems massive, and a rate drop from 10.0 to 8.2 seems less impressive ... but if there were a lot more actual incidents in Los Angeles than Stockton (just due to size), it's possible the LA drop affected more individuals. Either way, I'm just curious what the absolute numbers are. And I'm sure it's in there - I just haven't found that info in the five minutes I've taken to look at this.

But regardless - this looks like an AMAZING project, and great, terrifying but tremendously important data. Thank you so much for sharing it, Altomentis!
posted by kristi at 1:29 PM on May 31 [2 favorites]


California's arrest and prison policies are really the gold standard in awful US incarceration. It's just as bad in their forensic hospitals. Maximum containment always seems to be the goal.
posted by es_de_bah at 1:29 PM on May 31 [2 favorites]


California's arrest and prison policies are really the gold standard in awful US incarceration.

well, at least when it comes to reducing prison populations, we're working on it! see prop 36 (3 strikes reform), prop 47 (felony reductions to misdemeanors), and SB 1437 (vacating murder convictions for non-killers who aided without intent to kill), all of which are now in effect. not to mention cannabis legalization.
posted by wibari at 3:24 PM on May 31 [3 favorites]


Civil commitment is one of those things that seems like it isn't a terrible idea on its face, but always ends up being a human rights nightmare once reality intervenes and the sort of people who are the least appropriate for the job end up running the system.
posted by wierdo at 7:02 PM on May 31


While I like a lot of this, I do worry about creating formal definitions for this kind of thing, in the sense that it seems probable that if it took off, people's complaints about injustice might be silenced with "well we're in the top 24th percentile here so must be doing pretty good", or something of the sort.

That they'll be able to use that metric against the community to some extent.
posted by AnhydrousLove at 9:47 AM on June 1


The only city to get an A grade is... Carlsbad, fifth richest city in the state and one of the richest in the country. What a surprise!

True, but the city with the worst score is Beverly Hills.
posted by donatella at 11:18 AM on June 1 [1 favorite]


The only city to get an A grade is... Carlsbad, fifth richest city in the state and one of the richest in the country. What a surprise!

Yeah, actually it is a surprise. I would not have guessed snooty C'bad would handle police actions against PoC very well and frankly, with as many drunk and sun-addled tourists as they have, I'm surprised they handled things well with anyone.

Also, this analysis seems to have a fairly major flaw: it doesn't deal with sheriff departments and that's a big number of police in California. For example, there's a San Diego listed (very bad grade, probably deservedly so) but from what I can tell it's SDPD and not SD County Sheriff's. If you're trying to discuss California, you really can't leave out one of the biggest police forces in the state. It's pretty obvious that no one on the planning team was actually from California.
posted by librarylis at 7:18 PM on June 2 [1 favorite]


« Older “There is no where or when in which it is safe to...   |   THE ACCURSED DAYSTAR Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments