In early 2009 – a year before CopBlock.org came online – David Packman started Injustice Everywhere to catalog police misconduct with weekly reports, editorials, statistical analysis and quarterly maps. (If you never visited the site his name is likely still familiar as his weekly reports were reposted here on CopBlock.org by Edmond Dantes and Anok Black.) Earlier this week the site was incorporated into the Cato Institute, which seeks to advance “individual liberty, limited government, free markets, and peace.”
Packman had recently announced that he had to step-away from the site due to other commitments. He solicited parties interested in acquiring the site to submit a proposal on their vision and asked readers to vote on the option they thought best.
In his own words:
Entering our third year of doing this I’m coming to the realization that I no longer have the ability to consistently track reports like I did when I started this project due to the changing nature of my employment. As I’ve said many times, if I had a choice and it paid enough to feed and house my family this would be my one and only full time job… however, the world just doesn’t work that way and I have an obligation to provide for my family.
Of course, I would rather not let the project die. But my only other option is to hand it over to someone else who may have a different agenda than I did. Throughout the years I’ve been resistent to letting others do work on this project because I felt strongly that it was important to make it difficult for others to suggest there was a bias involved in the data I produced. However, at the same time, my reluctance to take the limelight and preference to make this about the project instead of about me ultimately limited how much I could promote it. So maybe it will be better off in the hands of someone who doesn’t have the same ideas that I had about it.
Of course, I want you, the readers and supporters of this project, to have a say in this as well. I plan on making the decision and handing things over within a week, so come up with your suggestions and proposals by Tuesday and we’ll see if any make sense by next Friday, and hopefully switch things over then.
Until then, and as always, stay safe out there!
After Packman posted about his intentions, we exchanged a couple of emails due to the obvious overlap between Injustice Everywhere and Cop Block, but in the end, I decided not to throw our name in the hat simply because I was unsure if we had the capacity to do it justice. Packman claimed to have spent 60-hours a week on the site – that’s not something we at this time can allocate. Plus, we have a lot of things in flux, including a new sister-site coming online soon (stay tuned!!).
Content from Injustice Everywhere was rolled into Cato’s new National Police Misconduct Reporting Project (NPMRP), being spearheaded by Tim Lynch. Back in early 2005 when I interned at Cato I had the pleasure of working at times with Lynch; he’s definitely a stand-up dude, somewhat on the quiet side but hardcore and rigorous, having for years documented and critiqued the coercive actions of political actors involved with Waco, drug prohibition, and the police state. And he’s not without resources. Cato is the big-dog in the libertarian think tank world with an annual budget over $20-million.
It’s good to know that some of Cato’s resources will be devoted to making transparent the double-standards claimed by those who wear badges. It means a slightly different audience will be exposed to the ideas we’ve proffered and it makes more realistic real systemic change. That is clearly the trend. My hope is that, with Lynch at the helm, NPMRP will include as an alternative to today’s law enforcement bound by Statist Quo “fixes” one open to the idea that law enforcement, like all other goods and services, can best be provided via consensual interactions.
Cato’s increased involvement in this sphere of police accountability is an example of bottom-up solutions. The more tactics and messages being implemented the sooner the double-standards that create and allow for misconduct by those wearing badges will cease.
Injustice Everywhere took it’s tagline from a quote attributed to Martin Luther King Jr. “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” As one commenter left on NPMRP’s Facebook page “It’s good to see you up and running. You have a high standard to match from David, but I trust you’re up to the challenge.” No doubt.
Thanks to Packman for his tireless work over these past few years!