Race and Policing
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This report provides data on the costs associated with police misconduct in Austin, TX, during the years 2012 through early 2020. Police misconductencompasses the violation of Austin Police Department policies or individuals' constitutional rights by police officers in their duties or the illegal or unethical actions of police officers on duty. Police misconduct can range from verbal assaults to bystanders to excessive force that results in aperson's death. The goal of this report is to understand how much taxpayer dollars are spent on police misconduct. One article from an Austin NPR news radio story that discusses some of the challenges of measuring police misconduct costs said that the decision to settle a case of misconduct that early ends up saving money for attorney's fees and can result in a lower settlement. Insurance policies and local budgets usually pay for judgments and claims in cases of police misconduct.
Community Voices, a participatory research project, aimed to change the ways residents are heard and police are held accountable. The central tenet of the project was that creating an authentic representation of community sentiment towards the police has the capacity to reshape power dynamics between law enforcement and marginalized communities. This brief provides an overview of the pilot of Community Voices in Austin, Texas, discusses its impact, and includes attachments that provide more extensive details about the findings and related products.
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.