Data Science, Politics, and Police
The intersection of science, politics, personal opinion, and social policy can be rather complex. This junction of ideas and disciplines is often rife with controversies, strongly held viewpoints, and agendas that are often more based on belief than on empirical evidence. Data science is particularly important in this area since it provides a methodology for examining the world in a pragmatic fact-first manner, and is capable of providing insight into some of the most important issues that we face today.
The recent high-profile police shootings of unarmed black men, such as Michael Brown (2014), Tamir Rice (2014), Anton Sterling (2016), and Philando Castile (2016), have triggered a divisive national dialog on the issue of racial bias in policing.
These shootings have spurred the growth of large social movements seeking to raise awareness of what is viewed as the systemic targeting of people-of-color by police forces across the country. On the other side of the political spectrum, many hold a view that the unbalanced targeting of non-white citizens is a myth created by the media based on a handful of extreme cases, and that these highly-publicized stories are not representative of the national norm.
In June 2017, a team of researchers at Stanford University collected and released an open-source data set of 60 million state police patrol stops from 20 states across the US. In this tutorial, we will walk through how to analyze and visualize this data using Python.
To preview the completed IPython notebook, visit the page here.
This tutorial and analysis would not be possible without the work performed by The Stanford Open Policing Project. Much of the analysis performed in this tutorial is based on the work that has already performed by this team. A short tutorial for working with the data using the R programming language is provided on the official project website.
To read more, visit - https://blog.patricktriest.com/police-data-python/
This iPython notebook is 100% open-source, feel free to utilize the code however you would like.
The MIT License (MIT) Copyright (c) 2018 Patrick Triest Permission is hereby granted, free of charge, to any person obtaining a copy of this software and associated documentation files (the "Software"), to deal in the Software without restriction, including without limitation the rights to use, copy, modify, merge, publish, distribute, sublicense, and/or sell copies of the Software, and to permit persons to whom the Software is furnished to do so, subject to the following conditions: The above copyright notice and this permission notice shall be included in all copies or substantial portions of the Software. THE SOFTWARE IS PROVIDED "AS IS", WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO THE WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE AND NONINFRINGEMENT. IN NO EVENT SHALL THE AUTHORS OR COPYRIGHT HOLDERS BE LIABLE FOR ANY CLAIM, DAMAGES OR OTHER LIABILITY, WHETHER IN AN ACTION OF CONTRACT, TORT OR OTHERWISE, ARISING FROM, OUT OF OR IN CONNECTION WITH THE SOFTWARE OR THE USE OR OTHER DEALINGS IN THE SOFTWARE.