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  • Michael L Bergonzi

A Data Tool for Discovering Police Misconduct Launches in Champaign

Updated: Feb 8

Maira Khwaja (Left) and Isra Rahman (Right)

A new police data tool for Champaign-Urbana from the Invisible Institute nonprofit was unveiled to the press on February 1. The event took place at the independent Media Center (IMC). It can be at*

In 2014, the Illinois case of Kalven v Chicago made police misconduct files publicly available across the state. Before, that data was “hidden behind a wall of official secrecy,” according to the Invisible Institute. The Chicago-based nonprofit released a database called the Citizens Police Data Project (CPDP). CPDP holds police accountable to the public by categorizing information about arrests and any disciplinary action for the arresting officer. The database filters its data in different ways. These include, but are not limited to, breakdowns by geography, types of complaints and outcomes for the officers involved.

The search bar works for cities like Chicago, but cities like Peoria or Effingham don’t show up when used as search terms. The filter options is the more intuitive way to find statistics, assuming you know what you’re looking for.

As an example, you can search 2022 for any Operation/Personnel Violations. When you do, you’ll find the top 5 categories for the whole area of Chicago. They are:

  1. operations/personnel violations.

  2. illegal search

  3. lockup procedures

  4. verbal abuse

  5. false arrest

Last year, 12 percent of the number one complaints totaled 78,356 went disciplined. That means 88 percent according to the data, went undisciplined. An operations/personnel violations are known as group 10 in the Chicago Police Department's Bureau of Internal Affairs. A division meant to handle complaints against officers and deliver the appropriate outcome for all involved parties.

Andrew Fan of Invisible Institute

Andrew Fan, the interim Executive Director of Invisible Institute, said one of the differences between Chicago and Champaign when looking at the data was that in Champaign, Black residents appear to be 14 times as likely to experience use of force as white residents. "That's a worse disparity than Chicago."

*The Champaign-Urbana data tool is still a work in progress in terms of what's available to see on the web.

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