Mpls. po­lice share data on use of force on web­site

Post­ing of statis­tics aims to im­prove trans­parency.

Star Tribune - - AROUND THE METRO - By LI­BOR JANY li­bor.jany@star­tri­bune.com Li­bor Jany • 612-673-4064 Twit­ter:@StribJany

Data on the use of force by Min­neapo­lis po­lice of­fi­cers are now posted on­line.

The statis­tics in­clude when and where of­fi­cers used force while on duty, what kind of force was used and against whom, as well as data on po­lice-in­volved shoot­ings from 2008 to the present. It was posted Tues­day to in­sid­eMPD.com.

Ac­cord­ing to depart­ment records, of­fi­cers used force 1,125 times in 755 in­ci­dents, out of 335,374 calls for ser­vice that po­lice have an­swered city­wide through Mon­day. Such in­ci­dents have been trend­ing down­ward since at least 2008, when there were 2,145 re­ports of po­lice force. The ma­jor­ity of use-of-force in­ci­dents were di­rected at black men.

The data dash­board al­lows users to an­a­lyze and com­pare data on of­fi­cer-in­volved shoot­ings, in­clud­ing whether the sus­pect was armed and how many years of ser­vice the of­fi­cers had.

The data­base is up­dated ev­ery morn­ing at 8 a.m.

The re­lease of the data was in­tended to in­crease trans­parency in re­sponse to crit­ics who have long ac­cused the depart­ment of with­hold­ing sen­si­tive in­for­ma­tion and re­leas­ing only data that por­trays po­lice in a fa­vor­able light, a Min­neapo­lis po­lice spokesman said Tues­day.

“This is our com­mu­nity’s data, we want to make it easier for them to look at it,” said of­fi­cer Corey Sch­midt. “It’s not earth-shat­ter­ing data. It’s data that we’ve had that we’ve re­leased when you asked for it, or other peo­ple asked for it, only now it’s avail­able on­line.”

He noted that the de­cline in use-of-force in­ci­dents in re­cent years comes as the depart­ment con­tin­ues to in­cor­po­rate men­tal health and de-es­ca­la­tion train­ing for all of its of­fi­cers. Last year, the depart­ment tight­ened its use-of-force pol­icy, re­quir­ing of­fi­cers to ex­haust all rea­son­able means in de­fus­ing po­ten­tially dan­ger­ous sit­u­a­tions be­fore re­sort­ing to force.

Other dash­boards, launched ear­lier this fall, al­low users to track crimes, ar­rests and the num­ber of times of­fi­cers have stopped, ques­tioned and frisked some­one on city streets.

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