Posts Tagged ‘Alabama’

Bad sheriffs

April 3, 2018

The U.S. has about 3,000 sheriffs, an office that goes back to colonial days and preceded the creation of police departments. This article reports numerous recent scandals, embarrassments, and shortcomings in sheriff’s offices around the country and discusses why they persist despite being an elected office that voters should be able to hold accountable.

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Gun death rates

March 26, 2018

This column compares the 50 states on gun death rates, noting that nationally, over half are suicides while 37% are homicides. Alaska, Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Oklahoma have the highest gun death rates, all at least 5 times higher than Massachusetts, which has the lowest rate. Other states with the lowest rates are New York, Hawaii, Rhode Island, and Connecticut.

Policing for profit

December 21, 2017

This article reports the case of a 550-resident town that used traffic tickets, impound fees, and asset forfeiture to fund a 5-officer police department, prosecutor, and judge. Thanks to a lawsuit and bad publicity, however, motorists started avoiding the town, which now has “$60,000 in unpaid bills and a six figure debt.”

Below the radar, south & north

July 21, 2016

Here are stories from two smaller cities that provide a bit of context to current police-community tensions. According to this article, Mobile, Alabama began concerted police reform 20 years ago and is now considering a police advisory committee in the wake of a police shooting. Syracuse, NY is still investigating a shooting death that occurred amidst 37 shots fired by police and others when a Father’s Day party went out of control. This article describes the neighborhood and efforts made over previous years to improve police-community relations, providing the perspectives of residents and police.