Oakland Engages Stanford University for Groundbreaking, Independent Stop Data Report

Big Data Study Examines Disparities in Outcomes by Race; and Makes 50 Recommendations to Improve Police-Community Relations

Oakland, CA — Today, Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf announced the release of Stanford
University’s independent, 13-month study of Oakland police traffic and pedestrian stop
data. The report examines the outcomes of over 28,000 stops by race. The report also
includes the first academic analysis of a month’s worth of body-worn camera audio
recordings, a review of 1,000 police “narrative” reports on traffic stops, as well as a
survey of more than 400 community members about their views on police-community
“I am extremely proud of the initiative that the Oakland Police Department has taken to
engage Stanford University as we continue our efforts to ensure principled policing in
Oakland,” said Mayor Schaaf. “Having this data means we can better hold ourselves
accountable for policies and practices, but also for how they manifest themselves in
The Stanford study, led by social psychologist and MacArthur grant recipient Dr. Jennifer
Eberhardt, makes 50 recommendations in four categories that will result in critical
changes to the Oakland Police Department’s organizational values and culture:
1. data analysis
2. policies & practices
3. training
4. positive community engagement
The Oakland Police Department has already made significant progress in implementing a
number of Stanford’s recommendations, and fully supports complete implementation of
all 50 recommendations.
“Transparency and data will set you free,” said Dr. Eberhardt. “I applaud the willingness
of the Oakland Police Department to share its data and the department’s interest in
identifying new ways to build better ties between law enforcement and local residents.”

The way in which the Oakland Police Department engaged Stanford for this independent
study and the report recommendations offer a model for how police departments and law
enforcement agencies across the country can examine their organizations and make
changes to help track and mitigate disparities in policing to ensure more equitable
outcomes and a better qualitative experience when police encounters do occur.

“This report provides a roadmap forward,” said Oakland Acting Police Chief Dr. Paul
Figueroa, who led the Oakland Police Department’s participation in this study. “This
critical work moves from data collection to action. I would like to thank Stanford
University for involving multiple stakeholders throughout this process. This has not been
an easy task, especially at a time when fairness in policing and all criminal justice systems are in question.”
Using data from April 1, 2013 to April 30, 2014, Dr. Eberhardt, and a team at Stanford
University’s SPARQ (Social Psychological Answers to Real-world Questions) led by
Postdoctoral Research Associate Rebecca Hetey, looked closely at the nature of 28,119
stops by 510 police officers, specifically identifying the race of the individuals stopped,
and the disparate experiences of those police encounters based on race.
While the report found no explicit bias, the researchers did find a number of significant
disparities in experience by race. For example, African American men were more likely to
be handcuffed during a stop (1 out of 4 times) than whites (1 out of 15 times) even when
no arrest was ultimately made; and Black men were arrested 1 out of every 6 times versus
1 out of 14 times for their white counterparts. Click here to read the full independent
report, executive summary and recommendations, as well as to view a video summarizing the findings from Stanford University.
To date, 90 percent of the Oakland Police Department’s sworn officers have received bias
training from Dr. Eberhardt and her team. The Stanford research group will continue
working independently with the support of the Oakland Police Department to examine
more recent Oakland Police Department data for improvement and to implement the
recommendations made in the report.
The Oakland Police Department is one of two dozen law enforcement agencies around the country initially selected by the White House to participate in the Police Data Initiative
that evolved from President Obama’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing. The group has
since grown to 53 cities. Oakland continues to encourage transparency and access to
police data with efforts like Mayor’s Schaaf’s release of the inaugural 2015 Principled
Policing: Police Discipline report outlining police discipline, which will be followed up
The Oakland Police Department is also the first large police forces in the nation to fully
deploy body-worn cameras. As a result of the Stanford study, the Oakland Police
Department will now lead the State of California in complying with the California
Attorney General’s requirement that police departments collect and report police and
crime data with racial information included.
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Media Contact:
Erica Terry Derryck
(510) 238-7072

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Posted: June 15th, 2016 12:00 AM

Last Updated: October 23rd, 2018 4:55 PM

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