Race and Policing
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A collection of data on policing in Kansas including arrest disparities by race, law enforcement spending, use of force tracking, ICE arrests, and more.
The New Bedford Police Department reports incidents involving young people of color at disproportionate rates that are shocking in a white majority city. Additionally, there are patterns of over-policing lower-income neighborhoods, both formally and informally, as police officers are encouraged to live in public housing by rents that are discounted far below that of other residents and communities of color bearing the brunt of frequent stops and interrogations by the NBPD.The NBPD maintains a database of residents it alleges are gang affiliated, the majority of whom are young men of color. Though criteria are subjective, inclusion on the database is used as a pretext to violate the rights of listed people and, they report, their families as well. A handful of officers account for almost half of the incidents involving Black and Latinx residents. Like most departments, NBPD operates on a seniority system that makes it difficult for younger recruits to object to biased behavior – even against themselves when they are people of color.Citizens for Juvenile Justice (CfJJ) obtained the information in this report through police department data, interviews with stakeholders in New Bedford, and media accounts.
This groundbreaking report exposes how Border Patrol, an agency within U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), uses racial profiling to target immigrants from Latin America and other people of color throughout Michigan. The report also reveals how Border Patrol colludes with state and local police agencies to target, arrest, and deport immigrants, many of whom are longtime Michigan residents.
During summer 2020, the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and too many other Black Americans sparked a national dialogue around the failings of the U.S. criminal justice system. People nationwide joined together in protest of police violence, calling for a new approach to safety and justice. During this crucial moment, the Center for American Progress, the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, and the Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation virtually gathered 1,000 advocates, researchers, artists, and practitioners for the Innovations Conference, a multiday exploration of what it means to reimagine public safety and shrink the footprint of the justice system.In the months that followed, public protests, spirited discussions, and grassroots campaigns led to remarkable policy changes across the country. Although the work is far from done, the movement has tangibly reshaped the nation's approach to justice and safety, offering a powerful example of community activism and civic engagement in action. This article breaks down five major issues that have shaped the national conversation around safety and justice, weaving in voices from the Innovations Conference to provide a snapshot of the country's progress to date and the pathway forward.
This report, "Protest During Pandemic: D.C. Police Kettling of Racial Justice Demonstrators on Swann Street," is a collaboration of the ACLU of the District of Columbia, Washington Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs, and Sidley Austin LLP.On the evening of June 1, 2020, the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) deployed significant force in and around Swann Street, a narrow residential street in Northwest D.C. to detain more than 200 people who had been protesting police brutality and excessive force in the wake of George Floyd's murder. These protesters were arrested on a single, common charge — violation of the Mayor's 7:00 p.m. curfew. Protesters were penned together in single residential city block and transported around the city for processing and arrest in vehicles that didn't allow for social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic, putting their health and lives at unnecessary risk.The report is based on interviews with more than 50 individual eyewitnesses, including protestors who were kettled and Swann Street residents who witnessed the events from their homes. In addition, we reviewed photos and video footage taken during the June 1 events, as well as other evidence available from the existing public record. Based on this review, we have identified multiple serious questions raised by MPD's actions that night. The report also provides recommendations to the D.C. Council for police response to First Amendment assemblies.
In 2021, Gente Organizada released a first-of-its-kind report on racial profiling practices in local law enforcement in the City of Pomona. Pomona Police Department's Crusade Against Black and Latinx Youth presents clear evidence of the Pomona Police Department (PPD)'s longstanding history of discrimination and harassment focused on BIPOC youth.Using quantitative data sourced from the PPD, the 18-page report examines trends in the arrests of young people— both juveniles and transitional-aged adults— under the age of 25 between January 2016 and June 2020. In addition to highlighting racial disparities in policing, the report also calls out patterns in youth arrests according to race, sex, charge level, and charge categories.
Body-worn cameras (BWCs) are an increasingly common tool for police oversight, accountability, and transparency, yet there remains uncertainty about their impacts on policing outcomes. This paper reviews what we know about the benefits of BWCs and how those benefits compare to the costs of this new technology. We make two contributions relative to existing research. First, we update prior meta-analyses of studies of the impacts of BWCs on policing outcomes to incorporate the most recent, and largest, studies carried out to date in this literature. This additional information provides additional support for the idea that cameras may affect a number of policing outcomes that are important from a social welfare perspective, particularly police use of force. Second, we carry out a benefit-cost analysis of BWCs, as financial barriers are often cited as a key impediment to adoption by police departments. Our baseline estimate for the benefit-cost ratio of BWCs is 4.95. Perhaps as much as one-quarter of the estimated benefits accrue to government budgets directly, which suggests the possibility that this technology could, from the narrow perspective of government budgets, even pay for itself.
The recent protests and civil unrest that marked the death of George Floyd and other African Americans in police custody gave voice to real and significant racial disparities in our criminal justice system. In California, like the rest of the nation, these disparities—especially those between African Americans and whites—are large and widespread. Encouragingly, some recent reforms appear to be making headway in reducing racial and ethnic differences in arrest, booking, and incarceration rates.
We report the first empirical estimate of the race-specific effects of larger police forces in the United States. Each additional police officer abates approximately 0.1 homicides. In per capita terms, effects are twice as large for Black versus white victims. At the same time, larger police forces make more arrests for low-level "quality-of-life" offenses, with effects that imply a disproportionate burden for Black Americans. Notably, cities with large Black populations do not share equally in the benefits of investments in police manpower. Our results provide novel empirical support for the popular narrative that Black communities are simultaneously over and under-policed
This paper, which is a product of DCJ's Research Network on Misdemeanor Justice ("the Research Network"), examines long-term trends in lower-level enforcement across seven U.S. jurisdictions: Durham, NC; Los Angeles, CA; Louisville, KY; New York City, NY; Prince George's County; MD; Seattle, WA; and St. Louis, MO. It draws both on reports that were produced through partnerships between local researchers and criminal justice agency partners as well as updated data the Research Network has published through an interactive online dashboard. The paper analyzed cross-jurisdictional trends in enforcement, including misdemeanor arrest rates broadly, by demographics (race/age/sex), and by charge.
This report, based on a survey commissioned by the Alliance for Safety and Justice and released by the National Coalition for Shared Safety (NCSS), offers a sobering assessment of the U.S. government's failure to help address the major issues that fuel cycles of crime and the lack of safety for people across the country. The report raises serious concerns about current public safety spending that has been dominated by $300 billion spent annually on the criminal justice system. The study also demonstrates wide agreement amongst voters across the political spectrum, and in cities, suburbs and rural areas, on where the nation's public safety budget and policy focus should be shifted.
In this report, the Data Collaborative for Justice (DCJ) examines how New York City's enforcement rates have changed from 2003 to 2018, adding four additional years of data to update our prior report, Tracking Enforcement Rates in New York City, 2003-2014. This report builds on DCJ's prior research by (1) examining whether declines in enforcement continued in recent years, (2) situating those trends within the context of criminal justice policy over the past 30 years, and (3) examining any changes in disparities in enforcement by race/ethnicity, age, and sex. The data presented in this report serve to anchor the important, ongoing conversations surrounding fairness and equity in the criminal legal system.