Crime & Justice

California DOJ to unveil website with law enforcement data

A new state-run website, set to be announced Wednesday by Attorney General Kamala Harris' office, will provide data on law enforcement's interactions with the public.
A new state-run website, set to be announced Wednesday by Attorney General Kamala Harris' office, will provide data on law enforcement's interactions with the public.
File photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

The California Department of Justice is unveiling a state-run website to provide data on law enforcement's interactions with the public.

Set to be announced Wednesday by Attorney General Kamala Harris' office, the database is the culmination of months of work aimed at improving transparency and government accountability after law enforcement interactions with the public sparked a national dialogue on police practices over the last year.

The initial "OpenJustice" dashboard includes three datasets: law enforcement officers killed or assaulted in the line of duty; deaths in custody, including arrest-related deaths; and arrests and bookings. State officials say the dashboard will likely be expanded to include additional data sets.

Also included is a brief analysis of the numbers, completed through a partnership between the state and professors at the University of California at Berkeley. Some conclusions so far are:

The office has also reached out to Stanford University; the University of California at Los Angeles, the University of California at Irvine; and the University of Southern California to have their criminal justice and law professors and data scientists analyze the information and provide further details that could help improve law enforcement practices.

Harris has come out in support of a state Assembly bill that would require law enforcement to report use of force incidents against the public to the state. Officials say if the data is reported to them, it will also become part of what's provided to the public online.

Officials say they don't know of any other department with a similar effort and hope that their actions will inspire other states to follow suit.