The largest of Google.org’s new grants, $5 million, will go to the Center for Policing Equity. It’s a think tank based in New York that’s working with police departments and communities to create a database that tracks police interactions with citizens across the country. In addition to cash, Google engineers will also lend their time and skills to help the organization’s efforts.
According to Justin Steele, principal at Google.org, data science can help reduce racial disparities in criminal justice. It’s also an issue that is particularly near and dear to the hearts of some Googlers.
Steele said that after the police shootings of Philando Castile and Alton Sterling last summer, several engineers who are part of the Black Googlers Network were looking to get their hands on national policing data to better understand how to reduce police violence toward people of color.