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Data Points Podcast Episode 2 - The Ferguson Effect in Baltimore

Two Johns Hopkins University (JHU) researchers join us to take a deep dive into a discussion of policing and data in Baltimore. Since GovEx is a research center based in Baltimore and at JHU, we have a unique interest in partnering with our colleagues and exploring how data can be used in our home city. In this episode, I talk with Professor Stephen L. Morgan and researcher Joel Pally of the sociology department at JHU, who recently published their research report titled “The Ferguson Effect.”

Steve and Joel’s goal was to determine whether increased scrutiny on police actions around the country following the events in Ferguson affected police behavior in Baltimore. Their research focused on analyzing open arrest and crime data from the City of Baltimore following the shooting of an unarmed black teenager by a white police officer in Ferguson, MO (check out the JHU Hub for a great overview of Steve and Joel’s research). Their research is especially relevant, as approximately 8 months later Baltimore had its own high profile police incident involving the death of Freddie Gray in police custody in Baltimore.

Our discussion with Steve and Joel focuses on their research process, the data they used and how they worked with it, and whether their research is something that can be easily replicated in cities across the US. To find out more about Steve and Joel’s research, read their full report and check out their data and methodology.

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