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The Voice of the Black Community

State & National

Group launches website to provide data on law enforcement stops
Published Wednesday, July 21, 2021
by Staff Reports

RALEIGH – A new resource is available to track statewide stop, search and use of force data for North Carolina law enforcement agencies.

The website, NC CopWatch, was created to serve as a resource for community members, organizers, and advocates seeking transparency and accountability in our statewide policing practices. The website displays data in graphs and charts, and incorporates features that allow the user to compare traffic stop data to population and demographic data, as well as review traffic stop data for individual departments over time. 

NC CopWatch is intended to operate as an advocacy tool for those seeking policy changes in law enforcement practices. Advocates hope that organizers in the community will use the data as a tool to push for changes that protect Black and brown people from police violence, while identifying opportunities for immediate and systematic change to address racist policing practices.

“In the wake of the murder of Andrew Brown Jr., and the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Daunte Wright, and countless others who have tragically lost their lives at the hands of law enforcement officers, it is paramount that communities have the tools they need to hold law enforcement accountable,” said Whitley Carpenter, staff attorney with Forward Justice. “So many incidents of excessive force and murder by police officers start with a traffic stop. We hope that NC CopWatch can serve as a resource for communities to hold officers and departments accountable as a first step in a mass movement towards reimagining what safety looks like in our communities.” 

The website presents data collected by the N.C. State Bureau of Investigation related to all known traffic stops that have occurred in North Carolina since Jan 1, 2002. Data is available for most North Carolina law enforcement agencies and officers serving populations greater than 10,000. The website is a project of Forward Justice, a nonprofit law, policy and strategy center in Durham. Visit https://nccopwatch.org/.

“Once entangled in this criminal justice system, it’s a ghost that forever haunts you, so I enlisted myself to fight and become a ghostbuster,” said Omar Onque with Forward Justice. “Copwatch will serve as one of our tools to fight.”




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