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Thoughts on Politico’s “What I Did After Police Killed My Son”

Ten years later, we in Wisconsin passed the nation’s first law calling for outside reviews.

Source: What I Did After Police Killed My Son

Catching up on my reading backlog (I try to keep it under 200 items, but sometimes it’s hard…and sometimes I need to save the “heavy” stuff for the right mood), and it was really interesting to read this article in the wake of both the numerous questionable police events of the last year and the “Making a Murderer” series (which, coincidentally, takes place very near by location and time, to the events in this article).

The question that keeps cropping up is how to manage the dynamic between the DA and the police force.  In many areas, the DA is an elected position, as is the Sheriff (while most Chiefs of Police are commonly appointed), and both have a vested interested in performance, which is often left to the Key Performance Indicator (or KPI) of conviction rate.  The logic being that a high conviction rate means both parties are doing their job well.  However, this is like evaluating an NBA player’s ability to shoot by the number of points they score.  Just because they put the points on the board doesn’t mean it was done effectively.

I’m not saying this is a common problem, but it does open the door for abuses of the system.  How do we, as a society work towards making sure that the system puts an emphasis on truth, regardless of how it reflects on the various parts of the system?  That’s the harder question to answer…

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