OTG Forum Identifies Opportunities for Engagement on Transparent Policing and Accountable Law Enforcement Advocacy

“The data helps us balance the playing field” – grassroots organizers speaking at OTG’s January 27, 2016 town hall

On January 27, 2016, OpenTheGovernment.org hosted a Town Hall event attended by open government organizations, data specialists, civil right groups, grassroots organizers, and criminal justice proponents. The panelists were Kanya Bennett (ACLU), Sakira Cook (Leadership Conference), Damian Ortellado (Sunlight Foundation), and Scott Roberts (ColorofChange).

The event brought together civil society leaders to discuss efforts to collect and use data to promote greater accountability in law enforcement. The speakers shared a broad range of experience working to obtain and provide access to data, promote criminal justice policy reforms, and to use data at the grassroots level in advocacy campaigns (read more about the work of the panelists here).

The event addressed some of the core data-related challenges to criminal justice advocacy work, such as the lack of comprehensive information needed to promote reforms, including data on law-enforcement-involved shootings and on useofforce incidents. Importantly, it provided a forum to build bridges and to develop strategies to enhance collaboration among diverse groups working to achieve similar goals. This event is a first step to encourage more coordinated campaigns to promote greater accountability for our law enforcement institutions.

To read more about the event please see this full report on the Town Hall prepared by OTG staff.

For more information about the work of our panelists and resources on OTG’s engagement on police transparency and accountability issues, see:

Patrice McDermott: Ferguson’s short window for enforceable police and city transparency (St. Louis Post-Dispatch opinion editorial)

Patrice McDermott: Death toll from violent cops is a guessing game (USA Today opinion column)

OTG: openness advocates and criminal justice groups join call for comprehensive data on police shootings

Kanya Bennett: Over 100 People Were Killed by Police in March. Have Police Gotten the Post-Ferguson Memo Yet? 

Damian Ortellado: PRIDE Act highlights importance of criminal justice data standards

Sunlight Foundation: Hall of Justice Initiative (and inventory of criminal justice data)

Wisconsin Public Radio interview, featuring Sakira Cook and other members of the Leadership Conference 

The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights 2016 Administrative and Legislative Priorities

ColorOfChange: National Civil Rights Group Gathers 65,000 Signatures Demanding Police Release Video of Jamar Clark Police Shooting

The Town Hall event was made possible by the generous support of:

  • The Ford Foundation
  • ​The CS Fund
  • Open Society Foundations
  • Rockefeller Brothers Fund
  • The Scherman Foundation
  • Bauman Foundation
  • S R Mott Foundation (through Philanthropic Ventures Fund)



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