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Daily Archives: August 9, 2018

Study – Bad policing, bad law, not ‘bad apples,’ behind disproportionate killing of black men

EurekAlert – news release: “Killings of unarmed black men by white police officers across the nation have garnered massive media attention in recent years, raising the question: Do white law enforcement officers target minority suspects? An extensive, new national study from the School of Public Affairs and Administration (SPAA) at Rutgers University-Newark reveals some surprising answers. Analysis of every use of deadly force by police officers across the United States indicates that the killing of black suspects is a police problem, not a white police problem, and the killing of unarmed suspects of any race is extremely rare. “There might be some bad apples in the police department, but white officers are no more likely to use lethal force against minorities than nonwhite officers,” says Charles Menifield, lead author of the study and SPAA’s dean. “Still, the killings are no less racist but will require a very different set of remedies if we are to change the culture and stop this from happening.” In the study, published on Wiley Online Library, Menifield; postdoctoral research associate Geiguen Shin; and Logan Strother, a visiting scholar in law and public affairs at Princeton University; and several graduate students created a database of all confirmed uses of deadly force by police in the U.S. in 2014 and 2015, the most recent years for which sufficient data were available. They found that African Americans are killed by police more than twice as often as the general population. While only about 12 percent of the American population is black, 28 percent of people killed by police during this two-year period were black, according to the research, which also found that Latinos were killed slightly more than would be expected and white citizens less often. The study also found that less than 1 percent of victims of police killings were unarmed. Across all racial groups, 65.3 percent of those killed possessed a firearm at the time of their death. “The gun could be in their car, or on them, but it was there at the time they were killed,” says Menifield. “This shouldn’t be surprising because of the availability and ease of getting a gun in the United States.” High-profile killings of unarmed black men in the last few years – like that of 18-year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, in 2014, which gave rise to the Black Lives Matter movement – have led many to speculate that white police officers may target nonwhite suspects with lethal force, Menifield says. The Rutgers-Newark research found, however, that white police officers actually kill black and other minority suspects at lower rates than would be expected if killings were randomly distributed among officers of all races.

The disproportionate killing of black men occurs, according to the researchers, because Institutional and organizational racism in police departments and the criminal justice system targets minority communities with policies – like stop and frisk and the war on drugs — that have more destructive effects…” [Haider‐Markel, D. P. and Joslyn, M. R. (2017), Bad Apples? Attributions for Police Treatment of African Americans. Analyses of Social Issues and Public Policy, 17: 358-378. doi:10.1111/asap.12146]

Study – How Do Americans Feel About Online Privacy in 2018?

The Best VPN – “Concerns around online privacy have come to a head in 2018. In mid-March, The New York Times and The Guardian reported that data from 50 million Facebook profiles was harvested for data mining firm Cambridge Analytica — a number that would eventually be revised to 87 million in one of the… Continue Reading

Bone health critical a medical issue with increasing age

If you are post-menopause, or a woman/man over the age of 55 (this is not a magic number, as this condition can impact those younger and older) – please speak with your physician about having a baseline bone scan – it is quick, easy, non-invasive and accurate. Regardless of your respective physical health and exercise… Continue Reading

Senate Judiciary Cmte releases first round of Kavanaugh’s White House documents

The Hill: “The Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday publicly released its first tranche of documents from Brett Kavanaugh’s work in the George W. Bush White House. The batch being released, totaling more than 5,700 pages, is part of more than 125,000 pages given to the committee last week by the George W. Bush Presidential Library.… Continue Reading

Automatic Transliteration Can Help Alexa Find Data Across Language Barriers

Alexa Blog: “As Alexa-enabled devices continue to expand into new countries, finding information across languages that use different scripts becomes a more pressing challenge. For example, a Japanese music catalogue may contain names written in English or the various scripts used in Japanese — Kanji, Katakana, or Hiragana. When an Alexa customer, from anywhere in… Continue Reading

How to Teach Information Literacy in an Era of Lies

The Chronicle of Higher Education – “Every day, critics of the American president decry his penchant for “false or misleading claims,” while he and his supporters fire back with accusations of “fake news.” It’s no wonder those of us who teach are worried more than ever about information literacy. The flourishing of misperceptions makes it… Continue Reading

United States Legislative Markup XML

“The U.S. Government Publishing Office (GPO) is collaborating with the Office of the Clerk of the House of Representatives, the Office of the Secretary of the Senate, and the Office of the Federal Register on parallel projects to convert a subset of enrolled bills, public laws, the Statutes at Large, the Federal Register, and the… Continue Reading

New facial recognition tool tracks targets across different social networks

The Verge – The open-source program is designed for security researchers: “Today, researchers at Trustwave released a new open-source tool called Social Mapper, which uses facial recognition to track subjects across social media networks. Designed for security researchers performing social engineering attacks, the system automatically locates profiles on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and other networks… Continue Reading

For most U.S. workers, real wages have barely budged in decades

Pew Research Center: “On the face of it, these should be heady times for American workers. U.S. unemployment is as low as it’s been in nearly two decades (3.9% as of July) and the nation’s private-sector employers have been adding jobs for 101 straight months – 19.5 million since the Great Recession-related cuts finally abated… Continue Reading