Focus on Gathering Data in Civil Rights Cases Increasing

Recently, more citizens are shooting video footage on their cell phones of police misconduct, showing use of excessive force when police interact with minorities. The police often claim that the use of unprovoked excessive force is an isolated incident caused by a few police officers. Currently, police data on use of excessive force is based on voluntary disclosure, leading many to believe that not all information is being reported, information is modified, and therefore the data is unreliable.

In 2015, The White House commenced a police data initiative, focusing on policing in the communities and helping to improve law enforcement weaknesses. Jurisdictions voluntarily participate in the program, pledging to make data more transparent and to work towards more accountability. As of 2015, there were only 21 police departments participating. Due to the voluntary nature of the White House initiative, national statistics of excessive force cases is still incomplete.

Private organizations, such as the Knight Foundation, have created grant programs focusing on the disproportionate police misconduct cases between African American citizens and Caucasian law enforcement members. The Knight Foundation has given the Law, Order, and Algorithms project at Stanford University a grant in the amount of $310,000. The Stanford project is gathering data from highway traffic stops across 11 states, totaling more than 50 million traffic stops in all. With all of this information, the project will form a database that will give the media and public access to statistics from across the country for the purpose of bringing police misconduct to light.

If you feel you have been the victim of wrongful police misconduct, consulting with an experienced civil rights attorney is vital to protecting your legal rights. Contact Wendy Pelle-Beer & Associates at (718) 313-0770 for the representation you deserve.

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