A Durham, NC-based criminal justice organization, Emancipate NC, has launched a platform to monitor police misconduct throughout the state, allowing users to report negative experiences with law enforcement officers, reports the News & Observer. Complaints collected by the organization’s online tool will be used to form a database, creating an “institutional memory” about police officers across the state, Emancipate NC executive director Dawn Blagrove said. Blagrove said people are encouraged to report any experiences that made them “feel targeted” on the basis of their race, sexual orientation, gender or any other aspect — regardless of whether that incident involved physical harm. The organization will then use the data to advocate for law enforcement agencies, city councils and county commissioners to intervene when patterns of misconduct arise with specific officers or agencies. The organization can also file complaints with state commissions that oversee law enforcement certifications.
Although the Raleigh Police Department, Durham Police Department and the City County Bureau of Identification all have processes in place for people to report alleged officer misconduct, Blagrove said Emancipate NC’s services seek to address what she calls a “lack of political will to ‘hold law enforcement accountable through transparency and policy.’” Emancipate NC’s database was launched a week before Gov. Roy Cooper signed a bill that will create several databases to track information about officers who are disciplined or lose their certification, as well as incidents in which an officer’s use of force results in serious injury or death. “Part of collecting this data is getting outside of the system, getting outside of the state mechanisms, and outside of the systems that were built with institutional and systemic racism baked into them,” Blagrove said. “(It’s about) giving ourselves and the people of North Carolina their own accountability.”