Police Data Transparency Is Low Nationwide. How Does Your City Score?

police data transparency for accountability
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Photos: Vera\YouTube

Police officers are the most visible manifestation of the criminal legal system and have a profound impact on the lives of millions of people every year. For communities of color, that impact can be deadly.

After the summer 2020 uprisings following the police killings of Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, and others, many struggled to redefine the role of police. But little information is made public about what police do.

Our new Police Data Transparency Index provides a community-informed vision of police data transparency for accountability. Explore the new tool for access to national police data and what information cities and counties currently make available—as well as what they don't.

Highlights

  • Only 16 out of 94 places earned an overall score of 50 or higher, and the highest overall score was a 67 out of 100;
  • 58 percent of places publish no information about instances in which officers shoot firearms (the average subcategory score of those that did was only 43 for this type of data);
  • Significant gaps exist in transparency about police patrol activities: only 45 percent report on arrests and 43 percent report on traffic and pedestrian stops—providing little insight into the work that makes up most police activity.

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