The StreetCred® Police Killings in Context (PKIC) database is an open-standard database that includes incidents (other than traffic accidents) in which an unarmed civilian was killed during an encounter with American police who (whether on-, or off-duty) were acting in an official capacity, from the time of first contact through booking.
StreetCred PKIC provides, in as transparent and accurate terms as possible, contextually relevant facts on deadly force incidents to enable serious researchers, reporters, legislators, and agency administrators to understand issues of improper police use of deadly force. (Get the data here)
Researchers should be able to use our data to ask questions, such as, “Of all unjustified or potentially unjustified killings by police, what were the commonalities?” and, “Do police really target black people more than white people in police uses of deadly force?” and, “Are our police treating our communities fairly?”
Our goal is to give stakeholders the tools they need to better understand whether law enforcement is treating fairly and justly those it is sworn to protect. Our goal is not to stanch criticism or suppress controversy; on the contrary, our goal is to produce clean, clear and actionable data that both sides can use to debate intelligently and meaningfully the way forward.
The StreetCred Police Killings In Context dataset is Copyright © 2015 by StreetCred Software, Inc., and released under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported license. StreetCred PKIC is itself a derivative work of, and an expansion of a small subset of, the excellent Fatal Encounters database (which maintains a superb Silk visualization site, and which launched a crowd-funded effort to track killings of immigrants who are illegally in the US).
StreetCred PKIC does not draw conclusions as to culpability or blame for any incident, and has no opinion on any incident or its outcome. The dataset is maintained entirely separate from any analysis by any party (including StreetCred Software, Inc.) of any datum or data within. The data within this dataset are intended to be factual, open and peer-reviewed. A mechanism for publishing corrections and errata is provided.
We do all this with the hope that our work will inform police procedures, policies and the training of both new and veteran officers, as well as to inform the criteria by which future incidents of deadly force are examined.
Any important statistical analysis must normalize the terms being used, and provide in context the data under consideration. To locate interactions that result in the improper use of deadly force by police toward civilians, we must first remove from consideration incidents that, while deadly, are unrelated to our topic.
The current discussion in the media and social media confuse many societal issues that are tangentially related or actually orthogonal to the discussion of police practice and data. They typically include deaths in custody of jail or prison, and traffic accidents involving police and civilians. They are not driven by data, but by emotion and paying heed to the support of a specific narrative. This is not constructive.
Context is king. Every incident is unique, but context helps guide investigators and analysts: Was the person killed high on methamphetamine or flakka? Was he in the process of assault on another civilian? Was she an escapee or fugitive? Had she been previously diagnosed with a mental illness? Was he drunk? Was the officer injured or killed? Did the officer have a history of excessive force complaints? Did the decedent have violent convictions?
To meet our goal, we must ensure that agency administrators, researchers, reporters and civilians have data sufficient for them to make analytical conclusions. They must be able to count on data that are clean and objectively gathered, and presented in an open and standard format.
StreetCred Software, Inc., creates software and services that help police agencies, courts and cities access, rank, understand, and use a vast range of data. StreetCred’s US Patent-pending technologies have been specifically conceived, designed, and created for law enforcement, and for no other industry. It is the mission of StreetCred Software, Inc. to advance the application of true data science in law enforcement to unparalleled levels. For more information, visit http://streetcredsoftware.com