Again and again the data show that people of color in the U.S. are disproportionately, and systematically, stopped, frisked, arrested, and exposed to the use of force by police. Police departments and communities across the U.S. are struggling with these realities and with what has become a glaring divide in how Americans experience and relate to policing. This special collection includes research from nonprofits, foundations, and university based research centers, who have not only described and documented the issue but who also provide much-needed recommendations for addressing this chronic and tragic problem.

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USA: The World is Watching Mass violations by U.S Police of Black Lives Matter Protesters’ Rights

September 17, 2021

The first part of this report is an update to Amnesty International's 2015 report Deadly Force: Police use of lethal force in the United States, which reviewed state use of lethal force laws in all 50 states and Washington D.C. The second part of the report focuses on the policing of protests that have occurred in cities across the USA since the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Amnesty International reviewed over 500 videos of protests and documented 125 separate incidents of police violence against protestors in 40 states and the District of Columbia between May 26th and June 5th of 2020. This report also draws on Amnesty International's interviews with 50 individuals, including protestors, journalists, legal observers and street medics, and a review of media reports, medical reports, photos, and videos. Conclusively, there is a disturbing lack of progress in the last five years in ensuring that police officers use lethal force only when there is an imminent risk of death or serious injury to themselves or others. 

The Kansas Data Project: Policing and Racial Justice

April 22, 2021

A collection of data on policing in Kansas including arrest disparities by race, law enforcement spending, use of force tracking, ICE arrests, and more. 

We are the Prey: Racial Profiling and Policing of Youth in New Bedford

April 1, 2021

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. 

The Border’s Long Shadow: How Border Patrol Uses Racial Profiling and Local and State Police to Instill Fear in Michigan’s Immigrant Communities

March 25, 2021

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. 

5 Discussions That Shaped the Justice Reform Movement in 2020

March 18, 2021

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.

Protest During Pandemic: D.C. Police Kettling of Racial Justice Demonstrators

March 10, 2021

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.

Racial Disparities in Stops by the Metropolitan Police Department: 2020 Data Update

March 10, 2021

This is an update to the June 16, 2020 report published by the ACLU-DC and ACLU Analytics, "Racial Disparities in Stops by the D.C. Metropolitan Police Department". The original report analyzed five months of data collected pursuant to the Neighborhood Engagement Achieves Results (NEAR) Act on stops conducted by the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) from July 22, 2019, to December 31, 2019.This update analyzes the stops conducted by MPD between January 1, 2020, and December 31, 2020. The 2020 stops data show that MPD continues to disproportionately stop and search Black people in the District. The stark racial disparities present in the 2019 stop data have not changed. The 2020 data, like the 2019 data, support community members' repeated assertions that MPD's stop practices unfairly over police the Black community and require serious scrutiny and structural change.

Pomona Police Department’s Crusade Against Black and Latinx Youth

March 4, 2021

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 in Policing: Benefits and Costs

March 1, 2021

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.

Racial Disparities in Criminal Justice Outcomes: Lessons from California’s Recent Reforms

February 17, 2021

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.

Open Data for Racial Equity: A Briefing Paper on Policing Data

January 1, 2021

Oversight, accountability, and transparency are central to proposals for police reform - and those goals depend on releasing complete, accurate, and unbiased data about criminal justice. This Briefing Paper assesses the data we have and identifies the data we need to achieve real reform. Beyond police reform, CODE believes that historical and current data can be a critical tool to advance the cause of racial equity by mapping the status of different issues, providing use cases for data analysis, and identifying challenges to be addressed.

Police Force Size and Civilian Race

December 1, 2020

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