Race and Policing
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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.
The authors engaged nationally recognized law enforcement professionals and a social scientist with expertise in biased policing. Their combined experience and knowledge have helped inform the findings of the investigation. These professionals conducted an independent analysis of Seattle Police Department (SPD) policies, use of force, other data, and community sentiments toward SPD. The investigation finds a pattern or practice of constitutional violations regarding the use of force that result from structural problems, as well as serious concerns about biased policing.