Race and Policing
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Law enforcement agencies across the country have failed to provide us with even basic information about the lives they have taken. And while the recently signed Death in Custody Reporting Act mandates this data be reported, its unclear whether police departments will actually comply with this mandate and, even if they do decide to report this information, it could be several years before the data is fully collected, compiled and made public. We cannot wait to know the true scale of police violence against our communities. And in a country where at least three people are killed by police every day, we cannot wait for police departments to provide us with these answers. The maps and charts on this site aim to provide us with the answers we need. They include information on 1,106 known police killings in 2013, 1,050 killings in 2014, 1,103 killings in 2015, 1,071 killings in 2016, 1,093 killings in 2017, 1,142 killings in 2018 and 1,098 killings in 2019. 95 percent of the killings in our database occurred while a police officer was acting in a law enforcement capacity. Importantly, these data do not include killings by vigilantes or security guards who are not off-duty police officers.This information has been meticulously sourced from the three largest, most comprehensive and impartial crowdsourced databases on police killings in the country: FatalEncounters.org, the U.S. Police Shootings Database and KilledbyPolice.net. We've also done extensive original research to further improve the quality and completeness of the data; searching social media, obituaries, criminal records databases, police reports and other sources to identify the race of 90 percent of all victims in the database.We believe the data represented on this site is the most comprehensive accounting of people killed by police since 2013. A recent report from the Bureau of Justice Statistics estimated approximately 1,200 people were killed by police between June, 2015 and May, 2016. Our database identified 1,106 people killed by police over this time period. While there are undoubtedly police killings that are not included in our database (namely, those that go unreported by the media), these estimates suggest that our database captures 92% of the total number of police killings that have occurred since 2013. We hope these data will be used to provide greater transparency and accountability for police departments as part of the ongoing campaign to end police violence in our communities.
This report details marijuana arrests from 2010 to 2018 and examines racial disparities at the national, state, and county levels. The report reveals that the racist war on marijuana is far from over. More than six million arrests occurred between 2010 and 2018, and Black people are still more likely to be arrested for marijuana possession than white people in every state, including those that have legalized marijuana. With detailed recommendations for governments and law enforcement agencies, this report provides a detailed road map for ending the War on Marijuana and ensuring legalization efforts center racial justice.
Campaign Zero evaluated the policing practices of San Diego Police Department (SDPD) and San Diego Sheriff's Department (SDSD).Our results show both departments to be engaged in a pattern of discriminatory policing. Both departments stopped black people at a rate more than 2x higher than white people and were more likely to search, arrest, and use force against black people during a stop. Both departments not only use force more often but also use more severe forms of force against black people than other groups, even after controlling for arrest rates and alleged level of resistance.We also found evidence of anti-Latinx bias, anti-LGBT bias and bias against people with disabilities in both departments' search practices.
Police enforcement, that is an arrest, or giving someone a summons or citation, is wide-reaching and is the first step someone takes into the criminal justice system. Enforcement of all forms but arrests in particular have substantial effects on communities, officers, and the nation. This interactive visualization tool enables users to better understand arrests.
The Student Safety Act (SSA) requires that the New York City Police Department publically issue quarterly reports on arrests, summonses, and other police-involved incidents in New York City public schools.i The 2017 calendar year is the second year in which the NYPD reported on activity in schools by officers outside of the School Safety Division, giving a more complete picture of the impact police have on the educational environment. iiSince 2012, the number of arrests and summonses issued by School Safety Officers (SSOs) has consistently declined. In 2017, SS0s were responsible for less than 15% of arrests and 2% of summonses. However, the vast majority of police interactions with students in school are not with the school safety officers specially trained to work with youth in schools, but with other law enforcement officials, including armed patrol officers. In addition, 366 arrests (29% of total arrests in schools) were for incidents that occured off school grounds and had no relationship to the school, indicating that police may be using schools as a place to locate and arrest young people for non-school related offenses. This practice sends the harmful message that kids in trouble should stay away from school.The School Safety Division has made a significant effort to reduce the use of summonses for non-criminal offenses. In 2017 they issued just 18 summonses, down from 1,275 in 2012. Summonses for disorderly conduct, including unreasonable noise, fighting and obscene language, are not an appropriate response to student misbehavior. However, precinct officers are not required to follow the same procedures as the School Safety Division, and officers issued nearly 900 summonses, sending children into the criminal justice system for misbehavior.Black and Latino students continue to bear the burden of arrests, summonses, and police interactions in school, and the city has failed its responsibility to reduce the racial disparities in its school safety program. Black and Latino students represent 66.9 % of the student body, but 90.2% of arrests and 89.3% of summonses in school. They also accounted for 88.4% of child-in-crisis incidents, 87.9% of juvenile reports, and 89.5% of mitigated incidents. Students of color were also more likely than white students to be handcuffed for school misbehavior, even where there is no criminal activity. Black and Latino students accounted for 92.5% of juvenile reports and 94.4% of mitigated incidents where handcuffs were used, as well as 93.4% of child-in-crisis incidents where handcuffs were used.
Across New York State tens of thousands of New Yorkers are held in city and county jails, not because they have been convicted of a crime, but because they cannot afford to pay for their release while awaiting trial.The harms of unaffordable cash bail are unequivocal: people lose their jobs, homes and families while detained. People also forfeit their rights to trial when pleading guilty in exchange for release. Yet little has been known about how many people across the state have been locked up because they did not have the means to pay bail, about the charges they faced or how long they were kept in jail.To better understand the impact of bail practices in New York, in 2015 the New York Civil Liberties Union sent Freedom of Information Law requests to a sample of eight small, medium and large counties across the state asking for five years of data. The information we received offers a stark glimpse into what New Yorkers have had to endure.
In the wake of high-profile incidents in Ferguson, Staten Island, North Charleston, Baltimore, and elsewhere, law enforcement agencies across the country have rapidly adopted body-worn cameras for their officers. One of the main selling points for these cameras is their potential to provide transparency into some police interactions, and to help protect civil rights, especially in heavily policed communities of color.But accountability is not automatic. Whether these cameras make police more accountable — or simply intensifies police surveillance of communities — depends on how the cameras and footage are used. That's why The Leadership Conference, together with a broad coalition of civil rights, privacy, and media rights groups, developed shared Civil Rights Principles on body-worn Cameras. Our principles emphasize that "[w]ithout carefully crafted policy safeguards in place, there is a real risk that these new devices could become instruments of injustice, rather than tools for accountability."This scorecard evaluates the body-worn camera policies currently in place in major police departments across the country. Our goal is to highlight promising approaches that some departments are taking, and to identify opportunities where departments could improve their policies.
The Student Safety Act (SSA) requires that the New York City Police Department publically issue quarterly reports on arrests, summonses, and other police-involved incidents in New York City public schools. The 2016 calendar year marked the first time that the NYPD reported on activity by officers outside of the School Safety Division, giving a more complete picture of the enormous impact police have on the educational environment. Since 2012, the number of arrests and summonses issued by School Safety Officers (SSOs) has consistently declined. However, in 2016, SS0s were responsible for less than 12% of arrests and 2% of summonses. Thus, this decline in reported incidents is only a fraction of the picture. 2016 is the first year for which school-based incidents involving not only SSOs, but all NYPD personnel, were reported.
This report, released by the Center for Popular Democracy and Urban Youth Collaborative, reveals the staggering yearly economic impact of the school-to-prison pipeline in New York City, $746.8 million. In addition, it presents a bold "Young People's School Justice Agenda," which calls on the City to divest from over-policing young people, and invest in supportive programs and opportunities for students to thrive. New evidence of the astronomical fiscal and social costs of New York's school-to-prison pipeline demand urgent action by policymakers. The young people who are most at risk of harm due to harsh policing and disciplinary policies are uniquely situated to lead the dialogue about developing truly safe and equitable learning environments. This report highlights the vision for safe, supportive, and inclusive schools developed by these youth leaders.
Recognizing that systemic change can only be achieved through comprehensive action, Campaign Zero proposes ten categories of policy solutions to end police violence in America. Among these, the policies that govern how and when officers are allowed to use force against civilians requires immediate attention and intervention. The police killed over 600 people in America in the first seven months of 2016, enabled and protected by laws and policies that allow police to use force, both deadly and otherwise, with little to no accountability.Police violence is distributed disproportionally, with black people being 3x more likely to be killed by police than their white counterparts. This violence, in practice, is justified by legal and administrative policies that govern how and when police can use force against civilians. In theory, police departments establish rules regarding the use of force,which include the expectation and power to discipline officers who fail to uphold the department's standards.Instead, many police departments fail to establish common sense restrictions on police use of force – including deadly force – that would actually benefit the communities they are supposed to protect and serve. According to our findings, fundamentally changing use of force polices can dramatically reduce the number of people killed by police in America.
How do you measure justice? It is a question that has confounded scholars, activists, and public servants since before it was even asked. Yet, despite the inherent philosophical, methodological, and logistical difficulties, law enforcement executives are increasingly asked to turn over data with the aim of evaluating how fairly they are doing their jobs. Rather than shrink from this task, courageous executives are seeking out partnerships with prominent researchers to solve this riddle and lead policing in the nation with respect to civil rights and public accountability.
The aggressive enforcement of marijuana possession laws needlessly ensnares hundreds of thousands of people into the criminal justice system and wastes billions of taxpayers' dollars. What's more, it is carried out with staggering racial bias. Despite being a priority for police departments nationwide, the War on Marijuana has failed to reduce marijuana use and availability and diverted resources that could be better invested in our communities.