Denver Police Twitter survey results on photo radar stories: "Who cares?" finishes strong
Earlier today, the DPD tweeted the results. The winner? Hard to say. But "Who cares?" did very, very well.
An initial tweet, on view below, shared links to an April 28 Fox31 news story on photo radar disliked by DPD Twitter overseer Lieutenant Matt Murray, a 9News report on the same topic he deemed much more even-handed, and a Survey Monkey page that asked: "Which news story does a better job of telling BOTH sides of the story." The options: KUSA Channel 9, Fox 31 or "Who cares? I hate photo radar!!!"
The results don't show the number of people who participated. Instead, it depicts the final tally in pie-chart fashion:
By the way, Heidi Hemmat, the reporter of the Fox31 package in question, declined to comment for this story, and the station's news director, Ed Kosowski, has not responded to an interview request. Read our earlier coverage below.
Original item, 11:19 a.m. October 5: Folks at the Denver Police Department are frustrated at what they perceive to be biased media coverage -- and they're using the DPD Twitter feed to do something about it. The department tweeted a survey about photo-radar coverage and a release criticizing reports about the Jason Graber case. And the DPD's Twitter point man hints that there'll be more tweets like them.
The first tweet was sent to the DPD's 5,400-plus Twitter followers last night. Here it is:
The initial link in this tweet connects to an April 28 report on Fox31 in which reporter Heidi Hemmat portrays photo radar as a revenue-generating scheme whose citations aren't valid unless they're presented to drivers by hand, rather than through the mail. That's followed by a link to a 9News story from October 3. In it, reporter Anastasiya Bolton characterizes the amount of revenue generated by photo radar as tiny compared to the overall budgets in Denver and Aurora. And finally, the third link takes surfers to a Survey Monkey page that asks: "Which news story does a better job of telling BOTH sides of the story." The options: KUSA Channel 9, Fox 31 or "Who cares? I hate photo radar!!!"
In the hope of being shown the total votes registered thus far, I selected the last option, because I recently received an $80 photo-radar ticket from an unmanned van parked in a construction zone on a lonely stretch of Santa Fe during a Saturday afternoon, when no construction personnel were present; I was going around 36 miles per hour in what suddenly became a 25 mph zone. Like most people, I paid the fine -- grudgingly -- because I didn't want to deal with the hassle of fighting it.
This selection required me to enter a comment. I wrote "comment." However, I was taken to a page that didn't feature a tally.
Then, a little over an hour ago, the DPD tweeted this:
In this case, the link connects to a DPD release titled "Denver Police Response to Use of Force Discovery in Federal lawsuit" -- a reference to court action taken in regard to Jason Graber, who received a $225,000 settlement after suing the department for the actions of Officer Shawn Miller. He allegedly responded to Graber signaling him to slow down by throwing the man to the ground.
Here's an excerpt from the release:
The City of Denver was sued by Jason Garber [sic] claiming that a Denver Police Officer used excessive force in arresting him. The judge in the case issued an order that the City of Denver release all reports relating to use of force by Denver Police Officers and all investigations into excessive force allegations.
It is a gross mischaracterization to say that all of these reports and documents are "potential brutality" cases.
In fact, there were an average of 140 investigations into whether use of force was appropriate (per year) during the period under review. To put this in perspective, from 2003-2010, Officers from the Denver Police Department responded to over 4.5 MILLION police actions.
Since 2005, Richard Rosenthal or his designee from the Office of the Independent Monitor has certified every investigation into allegations of excessive force as "thorough and complete." And in his 2010 annual report, he states that 94.4 percent of all Denver Police Officers had NO sustained cases of any kind.
Lieutenant Matt Murray tweets for the Denver Police Department. He notes that the photo-radar survey is a first for the DPD. What's the concept?