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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The Science of Policing Equity: Measuring Fairness in the Austin Police Department

February 23, 2016

This brief is a partnership between Urban and the Center for Policing Equity's National Justice Database, in collaboration with the White House's Police Data Initiative. The brief analyzes publicly available data in 2015 vehicle stops and 2014 use of force incidents on the part of the Austin Police Department. Findings indicate that even when controlling for neighborhood levels of crime, education, homeownership, income, youth, and unemployment, racial disparities still exist in both use and severity of force. We also document that APD has a high level of transparency, and the analysis demonstrates the value of that democratization of police department data in examining whether community-level explanations are sufficient to explain observed racial disparities.

Data Gaps; Racial Bias & Profiling

Science of Justice: City Report

July 1, 2015

The aim of the report is to provide law enforcement with a powerful tool towards the goal of ensuring equity in public safety. The report combines analyses from multiple police departments across the country and provides feedback on their stop, force, policy, and climate survey data. The report provides straightforward statistical answers to some of the most pressing questions that cut across law enforcement agencies.

The Essence of Innocence: Consequences of Dehumanizing Black Children

March 1, 2014

This research, consisting of four studies of police officers and college students, finds that Black boys as young as 10 may not be viewed in the same light of childhood innocence as their white peers. Instead, they are more likely to be mistaken as older, be perceived as guilty, and face police violence if accused of a crime. The research provides evidence that these racial disparities are predicted by the implicit dehumanization of Blacks.

Racial Bias & Profiling