Campaign Zero Launches Police Scorecard in California

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Campaign Zero, an advocacy group working to end police violence, has launched a new Police Scorecard in California. The scorecard provides information on police use of force, shootings, arrests, misconduct complaints and more.

Campaign Zero says the scorecard is designed to provide information back to citizens about how law enforcement is interacting with the local community. The data can also be used by community leaders and policymakers as they work to address and improve the relationship between residents and law enforcement.

Data for the scorecard comes from the California Department of Justice’s OpenJustice database, UCR and the California Monthly Arrests and Citation Register. Data on police use of force, use of force complaints, and police policy manuals were obtained directly from police agencies via public records requests. Campaign Zero says that other data sets will be added over time as they are made available by law enforcement, academic and state organizations.

In a Twitter thread announcing the launch, Campaign Zero co-founder Samuel Sinyangwe said that individual police departments were graded on the regularity of their use of force and whether police officers were held accountable for their actions. In California, most police departments received an “F” the lowest grade on the scorecard. Sinyangwe cited frequent use of force against people of color many of which were unarmed. In most cases, police departments refused to uphold complaints of discrimination and officers faced no consequences.

Campaign Zero also requested copies of police department policies and police union contracts in order to evaluate arrest reports and use of force against how officers were trained to handle specific situations.

Sinyangwe hopes that with these data community stakeholders will be able to evaluate individual police departments and start to determine which ones need intervention.

Campaign Zero plans to create scorecards for police departments throughout the entire US, eventually providing a comprehensive data repository on the types and levels of police violence in America. Sinyangwe is calling on researchers, citizens, community leaders, policymakers and others to help contribute to the data and use the scorecards as a jumping off point for further work on police and criminal justice reform.