Data Is Plural

... is a weekly newsletter of useful/curious datasets.

2021.06.02 edition

Lynching victims, gun-dealer violations, more police misconduct complaints, UK lobbying, and fermentative microbes.

Lynching victims. In the 1880s–1910s, the Chicago Tribune, Tuskegee University, and the NAACP each began collecting data on lynchings in the US. In the 1990s, sociologists Stewart Tolnay and E.M. Beck reverified, standardized, and extended those three collections, compiling a now-seminal dataset that described 2,800+ victims of these mob-led extrajudicial killings — the majority of whom were Black — in 10 Southern states from 1882–1930. The researchers shared a copy of that data with Project HAL, where you can download it. Meanwhile, they and collaborators have continued updating and expanding the research; you can request access to their latest datasets. In 2019, sociologists Charles Seguin and David Rigby published a dataset that aims to complement Tolnay and Beck’s by presenting information (and an interactive map) on 1,328 lynching victims in 38 additional states from 1883–1941. [h/t Geoff Hing + Lisa D. Cook]

Gun-dealer violations. “The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives inspects thousands of licensed gun dealers and manufacturers each year, but what happens in those investigations is rarely revealed to the public.” So reporters at The Trace and USA Today compiled a database of nearly 2,000 ATF inspections between July 2015 and June 2017 with violations, based on PDFs obtained through a FOIA lawsuit by the Brady gun control group. It includes dealer information, lists of violations, final dispositions, and more. Read more: “The ATF Catches Thousands of Lawbreaking Gun Dealers Every Year. It Shuts Down Very Few.Previously: The ATF’s licensing database (DIP 2015.11.04).

More police misconduct complaints. The New York Civil Liberties Union has updated its NYPD misconduct complaint database to include “the race or ethnicity of the impacted person and officer, incident location, current employment status of the officer, and other data,” and to remove duplicates in the original records obtained from the city. Also: Philadelphia publishes monthly-updated data on police complaints from the past five years. Previously: ProPublica’s subset of the NYPD data (DIP 2020.07.29); and CPDP’s database of complaints against Chicago officers (DIP 2015.11.25). Read more: The Financial Times has compared and analyzed these cities’ datasets, finding that the 10% most-cited officers account for roughly a third of all complaints. [h/t Christine Zhang + George Ho]

Lobbying in Britain. Open Access UK is a database of 70,000+ meetings between lobbyists and government ministers going back to 2012. The records have been compiled by Transparency International UK from scattered official publications; they list the date of the meeting, the lobbying organization, the minister lobbied, and a brief description of the meeting’s purpose. [h/t Gavin Freeguard]

Fermentative microbes. The World Institute of Kimchi’s Omics Database of Fermentative Microbes provides “genome, metagenome, metataxonome, and (meta)transcriptome sequences” of bacteria and other microorganisms associated with a variety of fermented foods. You can search the sequenced microbes by taxonomy, research study, and food sampled.