Look what happens when newspapers do their job! Too bad we don't have more papers practicing actual journalism -- as opposed to reprinting press releases:
A plan to force all American law enforcement agencies to report killings by their officers was unveiled by US senators on Tuesday, a day after the Guardianpublished an investigation into the fatal use of force by police.
Senators Barbara Boxer of California and Cory Booker of New Jersey proposed legislation that would demand all states submit reports to the US Department of Justice that they said would bring “transparency and accountability to law enforcement agencies nationwide”.
“Too many members of the public and police officers are being killed, and we don’t have reliable statistics to track these tragic incidents,” 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.”
Aides to the senators said their bill, the Police Reporting of Information, Data and Evidence (Pride) Act, would force mandatory reporting on the same data being collected by The Counted, a database published by the Guardian beginning this week.
The proposed legislation would see government officials collect information on the age, gender and race of anyone who was shot, injured, or killed in any way by law enforcement officer. The date, time, and precise location of the incident would also be collected.
The federal government does not currently collect a comprehensive record of people killed by police forces throughout the US. Instead, the FBI runs a voluntary program where law enforcement can chose to submit their count of “justifiable homicides” each year. This system has been continuously criticised.
The Guardian on Monday began publishing the most comprehensive map of police killings ever produced, based on precise street addresses of incidents.
The Boxer-Booker plan would also demand details of whether or not the person killed was armed with a weapon. The Guardian disclosed on Monday that 102 of 467 people who died at the hands of law enforcement so far this year were unarmed. Black people killed by police were twice as likely to have been unarmed as white people.