There’s a lot of confusion out there regarding the number of citizens killed by police officers.
Part of the confusion stems from the fact that reporting requirements for law enforcement agencies are flexible, to say the least.
Many agencies don’t even bother reporting the figures to the Bureau of Justice Statistics.
It’s kind of difficult to have an informed debate about police training and use of force when there’s such a breathtaking lack of data.
That’s why two U.S. senators are proposing legislation that would force local law enforcement to report the data to the FBI.
“Too many members of the public and police officers are being killed, and we don’t have reliable statistics to track these tragic incidents,” California Senator Barbara Boxer said in a statement. “This bill will ensure that we know the full extent of the problem so we can save lives on all sides.”
“Justice and accountability go hand in hand—but without reliable data it’s difficult to hold people accountable or create effective policies that change the status quo,” said New Jersey Senator Booker, a co-sponsor of the legislation.