“Does This Vehicle Belong to You?” Processing the Language of Policing for Improving Police-Community Relations

Lecture | January 31 | 4:10-5:30 p.m. | 202 South Hall

 Dan Jurafsky

 Information, School of

Police body-worn cameras have the potential to play an important role in understanding and improving police-community relations. In this talk I describe a series of studies conducted by our large interdisciplinary team at Stanford that use speech and natural language processing on body-camera recordings to model the interactions between police officers and community members in traffic stops. We use text and speech features to automatically measure linguistic aspects of the interaction, from discourse factors like conversational structure to social factors like respect. I describe the differences we find in the language directed toward black versus white community members, and offer suggestions for how these findings can be used to help improve the fraught relations between police officers and the communities they serve.