Transparency Database for Police & Military Complaints (Includes Sexual Assault)

Transparency Database for Police & Military Complaints (Includes Sexual Assault)

August 14, 2022
Signatures: 231Next Goal: 500
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Why this petition matters

Started by Ade Olumide

To all levels of the elected USA and Canadian Governments to safeguard the reputation of good officers (the majority) through a 120 Days Police and Military Complaints (Includes Sexual Harassment and Assault) Transparency Bill of Rights to deter bad officers from abusing the public or other officers

a)      public online anonymized copy of all misconduct (violation of any law or prescribed code of conduct) or service (for example a refusal to open a sexual harassment or assault investigation) or policy (for example a refusal to track the use of force and race-based data) complains from the public or an officer, 

b)      supported by an affidavit which can lead to charges if the allegations are false, 

c)      the police or military or outside investigator result, and sanctions if applicable,

d)      the reason for any redaction that is contrary to the alleged victim's consent if applicable, 

e)      the reason for extending an investigation beyond 120 days if applicable,

f)       naming of perpetrator upon “convictions, terminations, de-certifications, civil judgments, resignations and retirements while under investigation for serious misconduct, and sustained complaints or records of disciplinary actions”, 

WHEREAS the Executive Orders of President Donald Trump and President Joe Biden affecting the police complain database is progress, it does not include sexual harassment or assault complaints in the military, transparency of the length of the investigation, transparency of the investigation decision, transparency of the reason for dismissing a misconduct or service or policy complaint without an investigation (sustained allegations that do not lead to a sustained complaint), transparency of misconduct sanctions that are deemed not serious. There is no federal anonymized or named database with guaranteed public access, no guarantee that State, local, and tribal police departments will implement or integrate a database. Canada should copy the USA requirements for the federal AG to investigate systemic issues with non-federal police complaint processes.

WHEREAS Ontario Privacy Commissioner decisions include records related to criminal investigations and an anonymized copy of all decisions is publicly available online. Newfoundland and New Brunswick do not permit any police misconduct investigation to exceed 90 and 60 days respectively. The USA should copy Canada's direction that state civil authorities take over federal military police investigation of sexual assaults. For example Canada paused Hockey Canada funding for potentially using taxpayer dollars to cover up prior and incite future sexual misconduct, but Ottawa Police did the same thing and Canada is yet to pause funding.

WHEREAS the Office of Independent Police Review Directorate “OIPRD” target for the length of an investigation is 120 days, since OIPRD 2009 existence, they have listed only 17 hearings re Ottawa Police Service “OPS” misconduct complaints, but in 2019, the OPS received 230 complaints from the public, 119 were investigated but there is no public record on the content of the public complaints or the internal complaints from other officers. If 2019 is representative of other years, in 13 years, only about 1% of complaints from the public lead to a hearing. Other than aggregate statistical information for Ontario, there is no case-by-case information on misconduct complaints which did not make it to a hearing, and zero information on Policy Complaints. 

WHEREAS if the police or military refuse to investigate a misconduct complaint or an investigation goes beyond 120 days, the public is entitled to immediately or after the investigation, see the reason for permitting an extension, a contrary opinion will harm the reputation of good cops (the majority) and disproportionately harm indigenous people, visible minorities, and caucasian female employees of the police or military.

WHEREAS a police or military misconduct investigation is akin to a company HR department investigation of a company employee, not all criminal code violations lead to criminal charges, the purpose of misconduct investigations are mostly to determine if civil sanctions like a warning or suspension or termination, however the underlying conduct that leads to a civil sanction may also be a criminal code violation

BE IT RESOLVED that deterring misconduct through transparency is cheaper than investigating and resolving complaints, upon consideration of media reports below, any politician that facilitates ongoing or incites future criminal or other misconduct by opposing this petition objective, is ethically unfit to hold public office at any a level of government “nearly one in four servicewomen reports experiencing sexual assault in the military, and more than half report experiencing harassment “… military sexual misconduct investigations .... handed over to civilian police” “…large rise in … sexual assault (+18%) … accounted for 40% of the increase in the Violent CSI.” “Ottawa police officers have disproportionately used force against people they believed were Black, Indigenous or Middle Eastern, according to a report covering the first year that race-based data was collected.” men are nearly three times as likely to be killed by legal intervention than white men, according to … American Journal of Public Health” “…the LEWIS (Law Enforcement Work Inquiry System) Registry … will be the first comprehensive national catalog of police officers who have been terminated or resigned due to misconduct. … such as excessive use of force, corruption, domestic violence, sexual assault, physical assault, harassment, perjury, hate group affiliation or falsifying a police report. All information in the registry is drawn from public sources, such as official department statements, court records, police notices, news reports, and other open sources.” “.. The executive order … a database to track incidents of misconduct committed by federal law enforcement … like officer convictions, “terminations, de-certifications, civil judgments, resignations and retirements while under investigation for serious misconduct, and sustained complaints or records of disciplinary actions for serious misconduct.” … attorney general to assess whether and how the records in the database could be made public” “… did not include any enforcement measures if they failed to … upload records when an officer leaves their employment … bill would have required … all disciplinary actions and notify the public of their intent to hire someone who had “substantiated allegations, substantiated complaints or completed or ongoing investigations” … in 10 categories: the use of excessive force, harassment, theft, discrimination, sexual abuse, sexual misconduct, domestic violence, coercion of a false confession, filing a false report, or a judicial finding of dishonesty… The bill that passed … requires … only … “final and binding” discipline, … voluntarily accepted a punishment or it went through formal adjudication. “Most transgressions do not get resolved, and so they are very rarely final and binding” “… without a court conviction, it’s extremely difficult to know if an officer has been repeatedly accused of brutality, or of falsifying records.. … the Florida Officer’s Discipline Database.. website can be accessed … but ... doesn’t include citizen complaints, only goes back a decade, and for an officer to make the list, he or she must have a felony criminal conviction or have been found guilty of a moral character violation…. Derek Chauvin, convicted in the murder of George Floyd, had more than 20 complaints against him … people have been calling for — not only convictions, but complaints.”   “ … the database would have contained information on hiring of an officer, their termination, criminal convictions for on-duty conduct, any civil judgments for on-duty conduct, any de-certifications and any separation agreements with past police departments… police agencies told legislative staff that they want the database “... there needs to be greater federal oversight to track officers who have been involved in misconduct … law enforcement people can move from state to state and ... have the power to use deadly force and arrest … There is a Justice Department-funded police misconduct registry … It does not track officers accused of misconduct… the database is not public ... There's also nothing mandating every state to contribute” “… President Donald Trump directed the Justice Department to create a database that would cover federal, state, local, tribal and territorial law enforcement agencies; it would also have information about terminations and civil judgments. …. police officers should be treated like … other highly regulated professionals who need state-issued certifications or licenses ... others besides Becar's group have stepped in with databases …news organization ProPublica this year published a database of thousands of civilian complaints against New York City police officers including complaints where allegations were not substantiated. The Invisible Institute, a Chicago journalism organization, has published complaint records” “Volunteer group launches interactive database of police misconduct cases … The volunteer group comprises academics, lawyers, students and other professionals … The data comes from … newspaper clippings, CanLII (Canadian Legal Information Institute) decisions, disciplinary hearings and documents received through Freedom of Information requests…. “Compiling … in one place, publicly accessible … will aid efforts to hold police … accountable…. of violent behaviour, charges against off-duty officers, sexual abuse and other misconduct” "... gross incompetence of the OPSB can be measured by their inaction on multiple files where OPS cops have committed serious and at times violent crimes against both citizens and their fellow employees without consequences. The OPSB’s propensity to turn a blind eye to the victims of rape, sexual assault and misogyny have made them all accessories by default to the ongoing rape culture at the OPS. …they have behaved as meek cowards …while allowing OPS Chief … to boss them around like children … Ironically, it was … who constantly and very harshly criticized Mayor … city staff and other councillors over a lack of transparency .... her preponderance for secrecy and not disclosing information to the public or hiding behind convenient rules created by her fellow politicians and police management to not disclose information“ ….the force had said there was no …investigation… but reversed course after CBC …inquiring about the possibility of an internal investigation... called the OPS decision to do a criminal investigation "lip service." "Why didn't they listen to me 15 years ago? I feel like they're just playing games"  "The challenge that we're seeing is the time it's taken for these things to be investigated, for decisions to be made and for corrective measures to be implemented," he said. "But hopefully, we'll get to a place where the two-year, three-year, four-year decision making process comes back down to something that's reasonable and both parties involved can have closure in a reasonable timeframe." “Women in policing …ask why is it so hard to get justice… “It’s not just a few bad apples. It is culturally and institutionally embedded” … “Unions remain white heteronormative male dominated institutions … not always understanding or willing to understand what systemic sexism or racism looks like …Sexual abuse and harassment of female officers has been well documented”  

For more information Ade Olumide can be contacted via twitter @LeavingNoOne 

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Signatures: 231Next Goal: 500
Support now