Capitol Police Arrests: What Department Data Does and Doesn’t Tell Us

It’s been a little over six months since the U.S. Capitol Police (USCP) started posting arrest summaries. Here’s what the data tell us:

Between December 19, 2018 and June 24, 2019  USCP disclosed 271 incidents where 531 individuals were arrested. Incidents can involve more than one individual getting arrested, which explains the gap in those two figures. Of these 271 incidents:

  • 13.7% (37 incidents) took place at or around Union Station, with 54% (20) of those incidents involving drugs.
  • 12.5% (34 incidents) took place in congressional office buildings and the Capitol or directly adjacent to those buildings. 188 individuals were arrested during these incidents. 
  • The most common charges issued: 36% of incidents included charges for driving without a valid license (98 incidents) and 13% of incidents included charges for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs (36 incidents). 

Continue reading “Capitol Police Arrests: What Department Data Does and Doesn’t Tell Us”

The Changing Nature of Misconduct Complaints Against Capitol Police Officers

Demand Progress obtained ten years’ worth of reports summarizing complaints against U.S. Capitol Police (USCP) officers. According to the data:

Total complaint cases are up by almost 70% in the last decade. USCP reported 151 complaints in fiscal year (FY) 2009 compared to 253 complaints in calendar year 2018. We should note that the number of USCP officers has also significantly increased over that time: the department has 1,799 full time employees in FY 2009 compared to 2,283 at the start of FY 19.

Internal complaint cases have more than doubled since 2016. USCP reported 212 internal complaint cases in 2018: that’s a 118% increase from the 80 reported in 2016 and a 226% jump from the 65 reported in FY 2010. These has been some suggestion this has been caused, in part, by race-based and gender-based discrimination within the department. Continue reading “The Changing Nature of Misconduct Complaints Against Capitol Police Officers”

Recap of the July 2019 Bulk Data Task Force Meeting

Last week the Bulk Data Task Force (BDTF) convened internal and external stakeholders to discuss, you guessed it, congressional data. 

Established in 2012, the BDTF brings together parties from across the legislative branch—including the House Clerk, the Secretary of the Senate, Government Publishing Office (GPO), Library of Congress (LOC), and more—as well as external expert groups to make congressional information easier to access and use.

Scroll down for a list of tools, both currently available and in the works, as well as announcements from the meeting.  Continue reading “Recap of the July 2019 Bulk Data Task Force Meeting”

Forecast for July 1, 2019.

CONGRESS IN BRIEF

• Only 36 (working) days are left for Congress to pass all 12 spending bills, so why is McConnell pressing pause on the approps process? More below.

• 90% of House offices either don’t pay their interns or — more likely — failed to announce they have paid internships in job postings on their websites.

• The Bulk Data Task Force, where congressional technologists and civil society work to improve legislative data, will meet on Tuesday, July 9th at 11. Location TBA.

• The Supreme Court poked a hole in the Freedom of Information Act. A federal agency can withhold commercial and financial information from a requester merely by determining that the records fit within an expansive definition of ‘confidential’, instead of having to show as well that disclosure would cause harm to the private-sector submitter, as lower courts had held.

• PACER yourself. Sens. Portman, Wyden, Cruz, and Hirono and Reps. Quigley and Collins are trying to enable free access to court records on PACER via the Electronic Court Records Reform Act. Is it coincidence the Courts are forming an advisory committee on PACER?

• A House Ethics Committee working group wants to hear from you: submit comments by July 11th on how the rules should address conflicts of interest that arise from members of Congress and staff who sit on outside entities. Continue reading “Forecast for July 1, 2019.”

Forecast for June 24, 2019.

CONGRESS IN BRIEF

• Apparent mismanagement at CRS has created a 19% annual turnover rate in its law division and a lack of diversity in the agency’s senior leadership, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Last week’s House Admin hearing on CRS — the first in more than a decade — shed welcome light on problems facing Congress’s think tank. More below.

• Did you know the House doesn’t have a point person for HR? That point was made by Rep. Kilmer at the Fix Congress Committee’s hearing on congressional staff retention and diversity (video here), which featured experts on building strong, diverse workforces.

• Spending bills: the Financial Services and General Government bill will go to the House floor this week and, potentially, so will the leg branch spending bill (sans member pay raises). Plus, a minibus spending bill (Labor-HHS-Edu, Defense, State, and Energy) passed the House last week, amendments here. The second minibus bill (CJS, Ag, Interior, MilCon, and T-HUD) has been held up.

• The US almost went to war with Iran last week. Dems want to make that harder.

• Recess starts at the end of this week. Continue reading “Forecast for June 24, 2019.”

Forecast for June 17, 2019.

CONGRESS IN BRIEF

• Congress’s staff retention and diversity issues will be the subject of a Fix Congress committee hearing on Thursday.

• The Congressional Research Service will be subject to a rare (and much needed) oversight hearing before the House Administration Committee on Thursday. It’s time to re-read Kevin Kosar’s “Why I Quit the Congressional Research Service.”

• Approps on the floor. The House is expected to finish consideration of its first approps minibus (Labor, HHS, Ed, Defense, State, Foreign Ops, Energy & Water — i.e. H.R. 2740) sans Leg Branch Approps on Tuesday, and start consideration of its second approps minibus (CJS, Ag, FDA, Interior, Environment, MilCon, Veterans, T-HUD — i.e. H.R. 3055) the same day. You can probably expect a lot of Roll Call votes. What’s going to happen to Leg Branch? Um.

• House amendments approved by bipartisan majorities were at 4% last Congressnow they’re at 40%.

• ICYMI: The House announced its Whistleblower Ombudsman job vacancy; a new-ish app uses facial recognition to identify members of Congress (Unmask); Leg Branch Industry Day at the Capitol is set for June 27; the Senate post office facilities are upgrading their CCTV surveillance system of 37 cameras: anyone know what “intelligent video analytics” means? Continue reading “Forecast for June 17, 2019.”

Forecast for June 10, 2019. Leg Branch Approps Goes to the Floor; Modernizing the Contempt Process; and Improving Constituent Communications.

CONGRESS IN BRIEF

• The Approps minibus will hit the House floor this week. Several hundred amendments were offered for Rules Committee consideration, including 38 for leg branch; H. Rules meets Monday at 5 and again on Tuesday. Anyone offering amendments to stop the member pay adjustment from taking place should read this and then find something useful to do instead. Don’t just take it from us, read the Congressional Management Foundation’s statement.

• resolution to speed the path to court for contempt proceedings is also on the Rules Committee docket; H. Res 430, set for a Monday night vote, empowers the Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group (BLAG) to initiate legal proceedings on behalf of a committee instead of requiring additional floor time. This is good; we would also like the BLAG to publish information about its actions, i.e., when it votes to move forward on a matter and what it authorizes.

• Constituent communications with Congress were the topic of a Select Committee on the Modernization of Congress hearing on Wednesday — written testimonyvideo — featuring the Congressional Management Foundation’s Brad Fitch, PopVox’s Marci Harris, and Ohio State University Professor Michael Neblo. Continue reading “Forecast for June 10, 2019. Leg Branch Approps Goes to the Floor; Modernizing the Contempt Process; and Improving Constituent Communications.”