DC releases 2020 police-stop data after ACLU files suit

D.C. is releasing data on traffic stops made by police officers last year after the American Civil Liberties Union of D.C. filed a suit demanding the city release the public information.

The city’s NEAR Act requires officers to collect detailed data on stops to allow for greater analysis later.

“It shouldn’t have taken a lawsuit to compel the D.C. police to follow the law or to follow through on the promise they made to the public over a year ago, but we’re glad they finally did so with tonight’s data release,” said Megan Yan, with the ACLU.

Of 81,000 stops made last year, D.C. police data show 55% resulted in a ticket, and 24% of stops ended in an arrest. Three out of every four stops were over within 15 minutes; 15% involved some kind of physical contact between the officer and the person being stopped.

The police published two reports based on the data collected; the previous comprehensive report is based on nearly 24 weeks of data (July 22 through Dec. 31, 2019) and contains more information, including types of stops, searches or pat-downs, locations, reasons, and demographics.

The comprehensive data set is also available to the public on the department’s stop data page.

The ACLU plans to analyze the first six months of data and present to the D.C. Council on March 11 during its police oversight hearing.

Megan Cloherty

WTOP Investigative Reporter Megan Cloherty primarily covers breaking news, crime and courts.

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