The City of Minneapolis has launched a new online tool in an effort to build trust between the police department and the public.
As of Tuesday, the Office of Police Conduct Review – which reviews every officer complaint made with the city – has an online open data portal. That means anyone can browse or search public data on various police conduct cases.
You can check it out here.
Imani Jaafar, the director of the Office of Police Conduct Review, said Tuesday the city's very excited about this "unparalleled" system – a sentiment echoed by Mayor Betsy Hodges.
"By launching these tools today, we as a city are providing more information on demand than ever before, and we are leading the way nationally in such transparency," she said.
Here's a Snapchat video from Tuesday's event, and read on for details about what type of info is available, and when.
What data is available?
Just go to the website and you can immediately start browsing or searching public police conduct records from 2013 to the present.
Most of the information is organized in charts, graphs or maps. You can view things like complaints by quarter and by precinct.
You can also see how many cases were dismissed or are under investigation. There's also information on what the allegations are about.
You can check how or if an officer was disciplined and which demographic the complaints involve.
Search for a specific officer
If you click here, you search for the complaint history of a specific officer.
Just type a name into the search boxes on the right side of the screen (there are three, and you will need to do each one separately) and public data will pop up.
If investigations are ongoing, you probably won't find too much because a lot of that information is not immediately made public.
How soon is info available?
Jaafar said public information will be automatically updated every two weeks.
So all that numbers-related information with the charts and graphs will be updated biweekly.
However, if there's a decision made on specific cases, that will be updated as soon as that information is made public.
Another step towards transparency
This is another step towards building trust between police and the public by increasing transparency, proponents say.
This summer, the police department started rolling out body cameras for officers to wear.
Officers use the cameras to record every traffic stop. They’re also required to use them whenever they’re making an arrest or pulling over a suspicious vehicle, are in a chase, or responding to a crime.
Police Chief Janeé Harteau said at the time she already saw the process of charging criminals moving faster since video evidence is readily available.