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Berkeley Copwatch & WITNESS Announce Launch of the People's Database

Berkeley Copwatch is excited to announce that the People’s Database is finally ready to be downloaded and used by Copwatch groups and other organizations working to track police misconduct. This free tool could be a game-changer for organizers who want to ensure that the everyday abuses committed by police officers are recorded, archived and able to be used to alert our communities when particular officers or police practices threaten the pubic safety.

Along with our partner, WITNESS (a human rights group based in NYC) we are committed to sharing the tools we have developed and to helping other organizations that want to improve the quality and curation of the evidence they collect.

Although there are many databases that have been released, our tool is different in these ways:

  • It is designed to support community groups to gather, curate, and control their own collection of footage more effectively. This is NOT a centralized project. You remain in control of your own footage/evidence.

  • Footage goes into a secure hard drive after it has been reviewed and evaluated by members of the group for legal implications for the victim. Footage is only posted online as part of an actual justice campaign (and not simply to go viral.)

  • It is intended to help communities to track everyday incidents—not just the most horrendous acts of violence by police, but also illegal searches, racial profiling, harassment, etc.

  • It increases our ability to warn our community when a particular officer or trend in policing becomes especially dangerous and it enables us to fight back from an evidence-based perspective.

If you would like to get more information about the database, read more here.

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