Mpls. police share data on use of force on website
Posting of statistics aims to improve transparency.
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.