Keep the NPMSRP Alive!

 Posted on June 24, 2009 in Uncategorized

The National Police Misconduct Statistics and Reporting Project...

devoted to solving [the lack of information about police misconduct] by gathering information about reported incidents of police misconduct across the US, analyzing and compiling statistics based from several sources, and then publishing the results of all this information in a reader-friendly way in order to encourage informed debate where it was once impossible to do because of the lack of information on the subject of police misconduct

... is in trouble. Its author, Packratt, has been slammed by the economy; he needs to reclaim the hours he spends each day on collecting and analyzing incidents of police misconduct and turn his efforts toward making money and taking care of his family.

Injustice Everywhere is about to go dark.

I empathize with Packratt. We men are hardwired and culturally programmed to take care of our families, and the feeling that we're failing or even in danger of failing is a sickening one. I hope Packratt is able to find work that frees him from worrying about his family having a roof over their heads and food in their bellies. I hope it pays him well enough that he can afford to spend the time to resurrect his blog and @InjusticeNews Twitter feed (which I have scraped into my left sidebar).

Meanwhile, though, we'll be without Packratt's clearinghouse for police misconduct information, which is a shame.

In a more-perfect world, Packratt would compensated for time spent cataloging and discussing police misconduct (in a perfect world his work would be unnecessary). He is providing a benefit to society; there is no serious argument to the contrary.

Providing a benefit to society isn't worth much on the free market. As a general rule, those with the money are more invested in (and indebted to) the status quo. Packratt has a Paypal donation button on his site; it appears that society values the benefit he provides at $10 per month; call it 10¢ an hour.

He's not selling widgets, or services, or SEO secrets; he's not producing something that someone else can take and use to turn a buck. Packratt's product is pure information. He's providing an uncomfortable truth: that what Radley Balko ironically calls "isolated incidents" are, perhaps, more common than analogous crimes among the general population. So: 10¢ an hour.

But beauty is truth, and truth beauty, and that's gotta be worth something to someone. I know it's worth something to me, but I can't afford singlehandedly to subsidize Packratt's research and writing. So, how about it, Defending People readers? I know that times are tough, but can any of you join me in pitching in a few bucks to encourage Packratt to keep the lights on for one more month?

Better, can any of you dream up a way for Packratt to find longterm public or private funding (a grant?) to keep doing what he does so well?

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