Next Year DoJ Will Begin Collecting Nationwide Data on Police Use-of-Force
Early next year, the Department of Justice (DoJ) will begin collecting data on police use-of-force in instances of deadly encounters with cops across the country.
Data collected will focus on fatal shootings perpetrated by state, local and federal law enforcement officers; as well as information of deaths of suspects while in police custody.
Attorney General Loretta Lynch said in statement : “Accurate and comprehensive data on the use of force by law enforcement is essential to an informed and productive discussion about community-police relations. In the days ahead, the Department of Justice will continue to work alongside our local, state, tribal and federal partners to ensure that we put in place a system to collect data that is comprehensive, useful and responsive to the needs of the communities we serve.”
Cities such as Milwaukee, Ferguson, Charleston, and Charlotte will be a focal point due to the rise in police-involved killings.
A year ago, Lynch criticized the criminal justice system, revealing that her contention is that the federal government should not mandate that law enforcement report fatal shootings of citizens.
Lynch told the media gathered at the Washington ideas Forum (WIF): “One of the things we are focusing on at the Department of Justice is not trying to reach down from Washington and dictate to every local department how they should handle the minutia of record keeping, but we are stressing to them that these records must be kept.”
The attorney general explained that the DoJ is not “encouraging” police departments to maintain records on shootings by their officers, because while “statistics are important … the real issues are: ‘what steps are we all taking to connect communities … with police and back with government?’”
Independent analysis based on years of research revealed that by 2007 fatal shootings committed by police were “disproportionately” higher for black Americans.
And going forward one year, a 1/3rd of the 37 people killed by police in Oakland, California, from 2004 to 2008 were African American.
On the east coast, the New York Police Department (NYPD) killed more black residents between 2000 and 2011 than Caucasians or Hispanics.
Another shocking statistic shows: “Between 2003 and 2009, the DOJ reported that 4,813 people died while in the process of arrest or in the custody of law enforcement.”
In fact, 7 years ago, the DoJ’s Police Public Contact Survey (PPCS) pointed out that “of those who felt that police had used or threatened them with force that year, about 74 percent felt those actions were excessive.”