Open government group compiles data on all traffic stops in North Carolina

A nonprofit civil rights organization — with support from the White House — has launched a website that will contain up-to-date information about nearly 20 million traffic stops made by every police department and every police officer in North Carolina over the past 15 years.

The Southern Coalition for Social Justice will launch Thursday morning in Durham. The website, the first of its kind in the United States, will rely on public records on police traffic stops, vehicle searches and use of force – broken down by race and ethnicity – since 2000.

The new website is part of a larger revolution in government transparency, said UNC-Chapel Hill political science professor Frank Baumgartner. Where someone used to have to comb through onerous paper files, he said, the Internet offers immediate access to data that will make government more accountable. Continue…