UCLA Information Studies to Host Discussion on Use of Data in Policing

Virginia Eubanks, co-founder of Our Knowledge, Our Power, members of Stop LAPD Spying Coalition to speak on May 12.

The UCLA Department of Information Studies will host a panel titled, “Community Safety & Self Determination in a Police State: The Impact of Data, Prediction, & Policing in Poor and Working Class Communities” on Thursday, May 12 at 3 p.m. in the GSE&IS Building, Room 111, North Campus.

Virginia Eubanks, co-founder of the grassroots anti-poverty organization Our Knowledge, Our Power and members of the Stop LAPD Spying Coalition will be discussing the use of data for policing and surveillance of local communities.

Britt Paris, a Ph.D. student in the Department of Information Studies (IS) is a member of the research team that has organized this event. Paris has been working with fellow IS PhD researchers Morgan Currie, Irene Pasquetto and Jennifer Pierre, to conduct research on civic data pertaining to police-officer involved homicide in Los Angeles County.

“In our investigations of federal and local data on police officer involved homicides, we found, not surprisingly, that the sensitive data in question is inconsistent, and in many cases, incomplete,” says Paris. “These differences suggested which questions should be asked of this type of civic data—what are the interests, standards, procedures and ideologies involved with the construction of the data, and then how can these be meaningfully communicated to promote social justice?

“We are interested in engaging groups of stakeholders with these questions regarding civic data to collaboratively uncover the different ways and reasons why it is constructed, and to question its relation with ‘reality’ or ‘truth,'” Paris continues. “We have organized this panel because we believe it is necessary to open dialogue about the production and fallibility of data collected by the government and its instances of use in law enforcement.”

A reception will follow the panel discussion. This event is free and open to the public. For more information, contact parisb@ucla.edu.