Assaults on census workers

There are a lot of census workers out there, so I don’t now how bad a number this is (via):

More than 113 census takers have been the victims of assaults or attacks this month, the U.S. Census Bureau said late Wednesday.

In response to inquiries by Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.), Census Director Robert Groves said the bureau’s temporary workers knocking on doors to collect information have faced 29 threats involving a gun, four robberies and three instances of being held against their will or carjacked.

But given that crime is down nationwide since 2000, this is striking:

Bureau officials said the overall pattern and types of incidents are similar to the 2000 census, but cautioned this year’s figures are already much higher than ten years ago and include a mix of news accounts and formal reports to the bureau’s safety office.

What I do know is that this some of these attacks were perpetrated by liberal plants and those that weren’t were the natural consequence of a government that acts against the will of its citizens.






42 replies
  1. 1
    Corner Stone says:

    Should probably take a survey to get an accurate count.

  2. 2
    Corner Stone says:

    I’m kinda pissed I didn’t buy BBQ flavored chips at the store. Total gaffe on my part.

  3. 3
    Jon H says:

    I ogled one.

  4. 4

    @Corner Stone: Do you have North Carolina BBQ chips by Lays where you are? They are the nommiest.

    As for the attacks, the number is only going to increase as long as the fear on the right continues to grow by leaps and bounds. I really feel sorry for the census workers this year.

    @Jon H: I hope you at least did it discreetly.

  5. 5
    Corner Stone says:

    I’m not sure why Sharon Stone is asking Scarlett Johansson questions about Nascar on FoxSports Southwest.

  6. 6
    Corner Stone says:

    @asiangrrlMN: That sounds nom nom. Can’t say I’ve seen them.
    Why would they sell NC BBQ chips in MN but not TX?
    The mind. Boggles.

  7. 7

    @Corner Stone: Have no idea, but they are tasty. I haz some right here!

    @Corner Stone: ‘Coz it’s NASCAR!

    And, sorry, DougJ, for treating this as if it’s an open thread.

  8. 8
    Alex K says:

    If you quizzed the Repugs on whether the Census was in the constitution or not, I wonder what they answer would be? I’m guessing 20-80 against.

  9. 9
    Corner Stone says:

    @Jon H: I was throwing the frisbee with my son the other day when one came by and asked about a neighbor of ours.
    He’s an ER surgeon, usually works nights and is single so they can never get him to answer the door I guess.
    I told her some crazy shit when she asked me about him.
    I keep expecting the black helicopters to come get him one day.
    But then again I guess they never show when you expect them to. Hell, he may be in Gitmo by now for all I know.

  10. 10
    Corner Stone says:

    @asiangrrlMN:

    And, sorry, DougJ, for treating this as if it’s an open thread.

    Have you seen the other tripe DougJ has been posting today?
    Of course this is an open thread.

  11. 11
    Jon H says:

    @asiangrrlMN: ” I hope you at least did it discreetly”

    Yeah. It was in line at the supermarket. Really cute girl in front of me told the cashier she’d just graduated from college (architecture) and was doing census work because it’s a job.

  12. 12

    @Corner Stone: Nom nom nom. What? Oh, sorry. I was nomming on my NC BBQ chips and blissed out for a minute there. I’ve enjoyed most of DougJ’s threads today.

    @Jon H: Cool. And it wasn’t at her place of work, either, so that’s even better. Which, in this case, would have been your home. Um.

  13. 13
    That's Master of Accountancy to You, Pal (JMN) says:

    Since it’s already been made into an open thread . . .

    I’m at wits end. No progress on getting a job. With the end of school, my social life has completely disappeared. And Eddie is back in the hospital because he hasn’t been eating since he had oral surgery last week.

    I’m just really down this evening.

  14. 14
    Les says:

    Damn. My mom, desperately needing to supplement her income, just took a job as a door-to-door census worker, in the mountain area of central Virginia. She made a little joke about the potential violence census workers face. She’s 75, and said maybe dealing with a little old lady will keep the crazies’ paranoia level down.

  15. 15
    Yutsano says:

    @asiangrrlMN: Sigh. The universe must be lurching towards an end when you have to explain the presence of boobs and babes on TV.

  16. 16
    Midnight Marauder says:

    There are a lot of census workers out there, so I don’t now how bad a number this is

    It is getting worse:

    A routine visit by a U.S. Census Worker on Thursday evening turned deadly when Yuba City police officers shot and killed a woman they said had first threatened the worker with a gun, then later confronted officers with a shotgun.
    __[…]
    Sonny Le, a census regional spokesman, said the worker, a Yuba City resident, showed her badge and introduced herself to a man who answered the door. From inside the house, the worker said she heard a woman saying that they do not want to participate in the census survey.
    __
    When the census worker tried to further explain the process, she said she saw a gun pointed at her.
    __
    “She was shaken and went to her car,” Le said. The worker called her supervisors, who told her to report the incident to the police, Le said.
    __[…]
    Officers arrived at the Mariner Loop house about 10 p.m. Pavey said a man answered the door with a handgun. Officers successfully persuaded him to give up his gun, but a brief struggle ensued at the entryway when the man resisted arrest, Pavey said.
    __
    As an officer was trying to handcuff the man on the ground, the woman came outside with a shotgun. Officers ordered her to put down the gun, but “she ignored the order and continued to advance with the shotgun pointing at the officers,” Pavey said.
    __
    Two officers fired. Roger-Vasselin died at the scene, authorities said.

  17. 17
    Corner Stone says:

    @Yutsano: I was really just remarking that the two young ladies were very pretty.

  18. 18
    Elisabeth says:

    @Midnight Marauder:

    I was hoping someone would link to that.

    Has Erik Erickson come out and suggested one not greet census workers with a shotgun yet? Didn’t think so.

  19. 19
    BombIranForChrist says:

    It would be interesting to see these attacks listed according to geographical area, adjusted for population.

  20. 20
    Corner Stone says:

    @BombIranForChrist:

    adjusted for population

    Awesome.

  21. 21
    Brian J says:

    You joke with your closing comments, but why is it impossible for people like Breitbart and Limbaugh to take threats like this seriously? They are almost certainly right that stuff like this, or even stuff like racial slurs or derogatory signs at political rallies, is the result of a small percentage of Teabaggers and like-minded individuals, so why not just say that, agree to do whatever is asked, and then go about their business opposing the administration and Big Evil Intrusive Government in every form? They’d then be treated as the adults they claim to be.

  22. 22
    PurpleGirl says:

    I live in a tax-abated moderate income complex. Apparently a goodly number of people did not return their forms. The Census Bureau sent a team of people to interview residents and fill out forms. I saw them several evenings holding team meetings in building lobbies setting up the order of work for that evening.

  23. 23
    skeeball says:

    The census is constitutionally mandated. Why does the GOP hate the constitution? If we can’t carry out the census, the terrorists have already won!

  24. 24

    @Yutsano: No shit, Sherlock! How you be?

    @That’s Master of Accountancy to You, Pal (JMN): Sorry to hear that. I hope you find a job, and I hope that Eddie duly recovers.

  25. 25
    Yutsano says:

    @asiangrrlMN: I’m playing Whack-a-Mole with a troll and fully expecting to get terminated from my job on Monday even though I have enough sick leave to cover and I did warn them this might happen. I’ve decided it’s not worth stressing over.

  26. 26
    Mike in NC says:

    My Census job ended a few weeks ago when the work dried up. I don’t miss having to cold call nutjob assholes who are afraid the Big Bad Gummint is listening in to their thoughts.

  27. 27
    ericblair says:

    @skeeball:

    The census is constitutionally mandated. Why does the GOP hate the constitution?

    This is what gets me. All these Constitutional experts running around and they don’t seem to remember that the damn thing is right there, in black and white, clear as day, as a Constitutional requirement. It’s like most of them with the Bible: if they stopped waving it around so much they might actually be able to read it, and might be in for a bit of a shock.

  28. 28
    Jon H says:

    @Mike in NC: ” I don’t miss having to cold call nutjob assholes who are afraid the Big Bad Gummint is listening in to their thoughts.”

    My boss is the editor-in-chief of a neuroscience journal.

    Every so often the journal gets an email from someone asking about their implant.

    Recently my boss suggested to an editor, jokingly, that we reply to one by saying “Yes, we’ve known about you for some time.”

  29. 29
    Jon H says:

    @asiangrrlMN: “Cool. And it wasn’t at her place of work, either, so that’s even better. Which, in this case, would have been your home. Um.”

    Eh, I mailed mine in. No pretty girl visit for me. Anyway, she was likely too young, and I’m already self-conscious of not being *that* creepy late-30s guy.

  30. 30
    someguy says:

    @Midnight Marauder:

    A routine visit by a U.S. Census Worker on Thursday evening turned deadly when Yuba City police officers shot and killed a woman they said had first threatened the worker with a gun, then later confronted officers with a shotgun.

    What do you mean it’s getting worse? Looks like one less winger, to me.

  31. 31
    Church Lady says:

    When our census form came, I filled it in immediately and mailed it back. About two weeks ago, I got a call from a census worker. Even though they had received the completed form, I had to waste around twenty minutes on the phone, re-answering each and every single question. I asked her why, since they had the returned form, and she said they were just verifying my answers. WTF? Why waste time on someone that returned the damn thing instead of perhaps calling/visiting people that didn’t?

  32. 32
    Mike in NC says:

    @Church Lady:

    I had to waste around twenty minutes on the phone, re-answering each and every single question.

    Our team did QA on the work of another team, because you cannot imagine the poor quality of a bunch of amateurs hired to work for just a few weeks. The average time to conduct a QA analysis was about three minutes. Idiot.

  33. 33
    DougJ says:

    @Church Lady:

    Did you threaten the census worker in any way?

  34. 34
    russell says:

    A buddy of mine got a temporary job as a census worker.

    He was telling me his training materials, provided to him by the feds, suggest that he wear sneakers or something similar, because they are comfortable, *and because he’ll be able to run faster in them*.

    Maybe we should be sending these folks out in HMMVs with an armed escort.

  35. 35
    Corner Stone says:

    @Church Lady: There are like 8 questions on there. WTF took you 20 minutes answering less than a dozen questions?

  36. 36
    Corner Stone says:

    @Jon H:

    Anyway, she was likely too young, and I’m already self-conscious of not being that creepy late-30s guy.

    Leave that to the experts. It takes a deft touch.

  37. 37
    gwangung says:

    WTF? Why waste time on someone that returned the damn thing instead of perhaps calling/visiting people that didn’t?

    This is standard methodology, which makes sense if you stop to think about it. Random resurvey of attendants to a) verify the census taker actually talked to you and b) that they got your answers down accurately.

    Don’t tell me you wouldn’t do any spot checks for quality….

  38. 38
  39. 39
    Jamie says:

    As a Census enumerator, some people were pretty grumpy, but nothing close to an Assault here in St. Louis. An umbrella would be more useful than track shoes, given the weather of late.

  40. 40
    John S. says:

    I’m a crew leader for the Census, and thus far I’ve observed that most people have absolutely no clue about it. The overall amount of misinformation out there is amazing. And there are some very scary nutjobs out there.

    Thankfully, my enumerators have been unscathed.

  41. 41
    Booger says:

    And some of you may ask, “…how does this woman’s death affect the census count?” Did the enumerator have to change the questionairre after the woman was shot and killed? As a former enumerator I can tell you–no.
    If the woman was alive and breathing AT THAT ADDRESS on APRIL 1, 2010, she gets counted there.
    Heh. Talk about a futile gesture.

  42. 42
    greenjeans says:

    I was a census worker back in 1980. I got to know a number of my neighbors and enjoyed a number of relaxed cups of coffee or tea with folks as we went through the forms together. I believe the census forms were much more extensive than they are today, but virtually everyone I met was cooperative. Although I believe a few people refused to answer some personal questions, I can’t recall hearing a single harsh word from anyone.

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