Law Enforcement Accountability Dashboard: Public Resources to Spread Awareness for Targeted Reform
As a fierce advocate of police accountability, transparency, and reform, I've become increasingly sickened by the sorry state of policing in the United States. Departments across the country have been led into the abyss and corrupted to the core by flagrant tyrants and racists, and I cannot stand and watch undertrained officers breaks their oaths every single day with zero accountability. Americans have taken notice, and many have banded together to expose the many injustices that are endemic in our society. The First Amendment Auditing community on YouTube has been a major source of inspiration to me, and I want to offer my technological expertise to serve this community in ways that I believe have the potential to support enduring police reform and accountability.
The objective of this project is to develop a sophisticated, data-driven metric representing the magnitude of danger that law enforcement agencies across the United States have historically posed to their jurisdictions (with respect to their community's population). FatalEncounters.org maintains a database of U.S. citizens killed through interactions with police (since 2000), with incident data including dates and times, geographic coordinates, agencies involved, and more. This data is only the beginning, and I welcome input from sociological and law enforcement experts throughout the country about which other parameters should be considered to glean a more complete and nuanced picture of how to evaluate agencies and implement real police reform.
The ultimate goal of the project is to build a user-friendly online dashboard using React.js and Node.js that displays law enforcement statistics organized for public consumption. I plan to create interactive visualizations, including (1) an animated, time-series heat map of fatal encounters across the U.S. and (2) tabulated danger statistics for agencies and geographic regions, sortable by sociological variables like race, age, poverty rate, etc., resources for residents of each locality, and tools to affect legislative change, encourage police accountability and transparency, to keep the community informed and safe from misconduct. The potential features are limitless; I hope to include additional interactive maps with links to Constitutional auditors in each community, infrastructure to form local cop-watch chapters or clubs, and anything else under the sun that Americans want to see to hold their public servants accountable.
I am an ex-astrophysicist with a data science skillset and a strong desire to work toward police reform; however, I'm currently out of work and in desperate need of an income, since the company I worked for shut down my division in January of 2021. Rather than searching for a random data science job in the corporate universe like a cog in the machine, I would much rather spend all of my time using my accumulated knowledge and education to build this much-needed tool for Americans to fight rampant police corruption and abuse. I have a deep well of outrage inside my soul, from which I can draw limitless energy to make this project a reality. Unfortunately I cannot conjure money for food and shelter from that same well of outrage, which is why I hope other outraged Americans will stand up with me and support this project, no matter how small the donation. With your support I will do everything in my power to expand the project, recruit more developers, and work hard to get the Law Enforcement Accountability Dashboard online and available to all Americans.
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