week 4 – another interview and introductory coding

Mar 09, 2019

Hi again!

This has been the busiest and most interesting week of my project thus far.

I had my second interview with Professor Philip M. Stinson of Bowling Green State University in Ohio. I expected the interview to be about 15 to 20 minutes long, like my previous interview had been, but it ended up being almost an hour long, as Professor Stinson and I went very in-depth talking about his database and experiences as an officer. Some interesting tidbits include that, while he was on the force, despite the commonality of misconduct, no overall reform measures were implemented, and almost no training was given on peaceful resolution and de-escalation tactics. Also, according to his database, only a little over 30 of the 12,000+ officers who have shot and killed someone while on duty have been convicted of murder or manslaughter.

I cannot even begin to stress how helpful this interview was – not only did Professor Stinson offer me some very helpful information and perspective based on his time as a police officer, but he also introduced me to the website that shows all the information in his database. This website is basically exactly what I’m trying to achieve; you can search for misconduct-related incidents based on your location or based on the crime committed. He also showed me his coding protocol, pictured above, which shows all the information his research assistants must record when logging in a new incident. This was also incredibly helpful for me as it gave me a much better idea of what kind of information I should record in my database.

After this interview, I began the very tedious process of transcribing, both this interview and the interview of Dr. Shapiro last week. Transcribing both of these interviews took over 3 hours and it was probably the worst thing I’ve had to do so far, but the feeling of satisfaction I got when I read over the finished scripts was like no other. If you want, you can check out the transcript of Dr. Shapiro’s interview here and the transcript of Professor Stinson’s interview here.

Lastly, with the new information I was given through this interview, I was able to begin a lot more serious coding. I did not anticipate how many things that needed to be kept track of, but upon seeing the breadth of information that Professor Stinson kept track of for each individual case of misconduct/brutality/police crime, I realized that I was going to need a dedicate a lot more time to coding. I have a long road ahead of me, but I’m excited to get down to business!

Thanks for reading, and I’ll be back next week with more updates!

6 Replies to “week 4 – another interview and introductory coding”

  1. Vivian L. says:

    Nice job on the transcripts! I should link mines too for next week’s post, haha.
    I don’t really know about the coding part but it sounds really cool. How many interviews do you plan to do in order to code your thing?

    1. Samyukta I. says:

      I have 3 more interviews to finish up this week and then I can really get to work on the coding 😉

  2. Mr. A says:

    I had a couple different jobs/research positions in college that required transcribing, and I know what a pain it is. It seems like you did a fantastic job, though!

    Do you think your database will end up differing from Professor Stinson’s in any major ways? If so, how?

    1. Samyukta I. says:

      It’s definitely a pain, but I’m working my way through it!

      Professor Stinson’s database has been a few years in the making so his is definitely going to be more comprehensive and expansive than mine when I’m finished, but the one major difference in content I’ve been able to observe is that his database contains mainly officers who have been convicted/punished for misconduct, rather than just accused. For my database, I plan to engineer it so that it can contain both convictions and accusations/complaints, so that departments can have all of this information when doing reviews and hiring.

  3. Rithvik A. says:

    I’m glad that you were able to take advantage of Professor Stinson’s expansive knowledge about police misconduct repositories for your own research. Keep up the great work! 🙂

  4. David Z. says:

    Good luck on the coding!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *