Friday, October 14, 2016

Justice Department to begin tracking police use of deadly force

Promising information that is more standardized and complete than has previously been available, Attorney General Loretta Lynch says the Department of Justice will collect data on the police use of deadly force in the line of duty, reported NPR.
So far in 2016, the Post reports that law enforcement officers have killed 754 people. A lack of a national database became a sticking point in recent years, particularly after a string of high-profile cases in which unarmed black men died at the hands of police. Attempts to fill that void have included the website Fatal Encounters, as well as a Washington Post database that tracks how many people are shot and killed by police.
Lynch's announcement amplifies a statement by FBI Director James Comey at the end of September, when he told a congressional panel that the bureau is in the process of setting up a database that can track police killings and other use of force during interactions with the public.
The Justice Department plans to have a pilot program collecting data in early 2017.
"Accurate and comprehensive data on the use of force by law enforcement is essential to an informed and productive discussion about community-police relations," Lynch said. "The initiatives we are announcing today are vital efforts toward increasing transparency and building trust between law enforcement and the communities we serve."
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