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The Problem

Prior to killing Laquan McDonald, Chicago P.D. Officer Jason Van Dyke had racked up at least 20 civilian complaints during his 14-year career. Most of these complaints involved allegations of excessive force—in one case, a jury awarded $350,000 in damages for injuries Van Dyke had inflicted on a black motorist. But none of the complaints led to disciplinary action, and we only know about them after 10 years of public interest litigation forced the city to cough up this data.
Simply put, when police institutions bury evidence of misconduct the public suffers.

Our Vision

Thanks to the openness of the internet, Open Police Complaints (OPC) can create a world with universal, real-time access to police complaints data. This open data will no longer be controlled by government agencies. Instead, it will be publicly shared by the complainants themselves, who will be able to control who has access to their private information.

The Technology

Here’s a preview of our powerful new web-app, arriving early 2017!

OPC’s TurboTax-like user experience allows users to easily build, save, and share complaints that are precise and complete. Check out our software specs and our brilliant all-volunteer development team.

Objectives

1) Identify “Repeater” Cops

OPC’s open data will embolden police chiefs to correct officer misbehavior before it turns deadly.

2) Set National Standards for Police Complaints

OPC will track how well or how poorly individual departments respond to the complaints they receive. The resulting ratings will reveal best practices for how police departments should respond to civilian complaints.

3) Improve Policing Data Sets

Our open data will help identify patterns and practices related to traffic stops, searches, arrests, police use of force, and racial profiling.

4) Better Civil Litigation Cases

OPC will identify credible candidates for civil litigation. We’ll refer victims with strong cases to distinguished local civil rights attorneys in our network.

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