Data and Law Enforcement

Historically, police departments have often been chastised for dragging their feet when it comes to releasing data regarding police officers. As a result, newspapers and public institutions have resorted to keeping independent records when an instance of excessive force is suspected. The Guardian has responded with their visualization, The Counted, and the Washington Post has developed a similar collection of data, which the Post said was created because “data compiled by the federal government was unreliable and incomplete.” But it is possible that times are changing.  The recent shootings of police officers in Dallas and Baton Rouge, combined with protests sparked by the deaths of Philando Castille and Alton Sterling, have led to a call for an increase in readily-available data from police departments.  The result has been a number of police departments embracing the concept…


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