Tool Draws Criticism From Mpls. Police UnionBy Esme Murphy

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Minneapolis police are unveiling a new online tool that reveals race and demographic information for all police stops in the city.

The data is online for anyone to access and can be broken down by police precinct, neighborhood and even time of day. The department started tracking this information in November of 2016.

Since then, the Minneapolis Police Department has made 35,000 traffic stops.

The police data from November shows 34 percent of those who were stopped were black, and 28 percent were white. Another 20 percent described as “race unknown.” The overall population in Minneapolis shows 19 percent are black or African-American, while 64 percent are white.

mpls online tool MPD Releases New Online Tool For Police Stop Information

A view of the online tool. (credit: MPD)

St. Paul police rolled out a similar public tracking site a year ago that is not nearly as sophisticated. The Minneapolis site has been championed by now Interim Chief Medaria Arradondo, who says this is in direct response to community requests for more information about police activity.

The dashboard went live Wednesday on the Minneapolis police website and features data on every Minneapolis police interaction from Nov. 1, 2016. The site even features data about police activity that is just 24 hours old.

“This is one of those areas where we talk about building trust. We are documenting information and it is important to put that out so our community can get a look at it,” Arradondo said.

The site can even provide breakdowns by neighborhoods and time of day. The range of data is also so complex that the Minneapolis Police Department is in the process of putting together a tutorial on how the public can best us it.

But the new dashboard is raising concerns for  the Minneapolis Police Federation. Union President Lt. Bob Kroll says he thinks the data should include the information from 911 dispatchers. In other words, who police are looking for when they respond to a call.

Kroll says without that, the “baseline is missing” and “the data can make it appear that there is a police bias” against minorities.

Chief Arradondo says the date from 911 calls is included on the complex site.

“We do track citizen initiated calls. That is tracked in there, that is very important,” Arradondo said.

And he says the dashboard is a work in progress.

“It will continue to evolve all for the betterment of making sure we are giving out the best information, most accurate information and as timely as we can,” Arradondo said.


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