NEW ORLEANS—The American Civil Liberties Union of Louisiana has launched a comprehensive data dashboard compiling all of the state’s available police killings and misconduct data in one place.
The new tool, entitled “Visualizing Police Violence In Louisiana,” utilizes raw data sourced from the Louisiana Law Enforcement Accountability Database, FBI Crime Data Explorer, the 2020 U.S. Census, and Mapping Police Violence.
The dashboard is designed to be a non-partisan, educational tool for the general public, elected officials, journalists, academics, and police agencies themselves. Among the data available are breakdowns of misconduct allegations and killings by agency/parish, individual officers named in police killings, and repercussions issued. All data included in the dashboard is available to download for free.
The ACLU of Louisiana hopes to empower users to assume the role of custodians for this information, to amplify the stories of individuals facing violence through both data and narratives, and to foster police accountability. This entails ensuring that instances of violence are accurately represented and that everyone has accessible information.
“In a state where data on such matters is scarce, this tool aims to be a valuable resource,” said Elijah Appelson, ACLU of Louisiana data analyst and dashboard project lead. “I hope that individuals not only find it helpful in understanding the impact of police violence, but also leverage it as a platform to access data, enabling them to formulate their own insights on the issue.”
One challenge facing police accountability in Louisiana is that the current laws do not mandate law enforcement agencies to report crucial misconduct data points. As a result, though hundreds of agencies across the state have many, or possibly more, allegations than are reported, most of the misconduct data analyzed comes from the New Orleans Police Department as they have a reporting policy governed by a consent decree with the U.S. Department of Justice.
“This dashboard is a groundbreaking tool for those seeking to engage in police accountability work in Louisiana,” said Alanah Odoms, ACLU of Louisiana executive director. “With this data now available to the public, the ACLU of Louisiana is putting the power to hold police accountable in the hands of the people- legislators, journalists, and community members who have experienced harm.”
The ACLU of Louisiana will be hosting a public webinar on Tuesday, February 6, 2024 for those interested in learning how to utilize the dashboard in their work. Registration is required, and all are encouraged to attend.
The affiliate encourages those who have experienced instances of police misconduct and/or violence to report them using its Louisiana Police Misconduct Data Collection form, which can be found on the affiliate’s website. Data collected will be used to identify patterns, trends, and potential areas of concern in law enforcement activities across Louisiana.