106 Geo. L.J. Online 1 (2017)

handle is hein.journals/gljon106 and id is 1 raw text is: 





OPEN DATA POLICING

CYNTHIA  H. CONTI-COOK*


                              ABSTRACT

       More  than  any other promised police  reform, the public would
benefit from the government adopting an open data philosophy towards
police accountability data. Open data in the context of public policy is
the philosophy that when the government  provides people access to its
process, decision-making, and  data, a  more  effective ecosystem for
innovation  and   development   results.  Body  cameras   have   been
introduced across the country as the manifestation of transparent policing
meant  to restore the public's trust in police following multiple murders of
unarmed   young  men  and  women   of  color nationwide. However,   as
Professor  Simonson  writes in her essay, Beyond   the Body  Camera:
Defending  a Robust Right to Record the Police,  the body camera footage
is created, stored, organized, and distributed by governmental agencies
that continue controlling the narrative about police conduct. 2 In this
article, I  elaborate  on  Professor   Simonson's   observation  about
governmental   control over  the  narrative. I also  discuss diverging
approaches  to public access to body camera footage from Seattle, which
has embraced  an open data model,3 to Minnesota, where restrictions on
public access to police data are being introduced for the first time through
legislative regulations. On a more optimistic note, I will also discuss non-
governmental  efforts to subvert that control by cataloging and reporting
on  police  accountability data. The  seriousness  and  wealth  of the
information collected and shared  through these efforts stands in sharp
contrast to the dearth of police accountability data being disseminated by
the government.

                            INTRODUCTION

    Open data in the context of public policy is the philosophy that when
the government  provides people access to its process, decision-making,


     Staff Attorney, Special Litigation Unit of The Legal Aid Society. Thanks &
acknowledgments for edits to: Josh Norkin, Davim Horowitz, Steve Silberman, lan
Mance, Craig Futterman, Jason Tashea, Renate Lunn, Adam Marshall, Steve Zeidman,
Nikki Zeichner, Patrick Ball, Stephanie Ashley and William Gibney.
    1. Jason Tashea, Emerging Justice Technologies and the Need for Evaluation, JOHN
JAY  COLL.  CRIM. JUST.  RES. &   EVALUATION  CTR.  2  (Jan. 20, 2016),
https://perma.cc/LN8E-3XWD.
    2. See Jocelyn Simonson, Beyond Body Cameras: Defending a Robust Right to
Record the Police, 104 GEO. L. J. 1559, 1567 (2016).
    3. See SPD Launches YouTube Channel for Bodyworn Video, SPD BLOTTER (Feb.
25, 2015), https://perma.cc/U2RM-NAV7.

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