Friday, December 19, 2014

Is Your Local Sheriff Counting Cop Killings? Now It's Federal Law

No more fucking excuses. Now they have to count them. And to count them they have to keep records. And to keep records they have to create records. With facts. And evidence.

This is a huge step forward.  Take advantage of it.  Demand your local law enforcement start obeying this law today, and demand reports every month.

Nicole Flatow at Think Progress:

This week as all eyes were on budget deal wrangling, with little attention and fanfare, Congress actually got something done to reform the police. It passed a bill that could result in complete, national data on police shootings and other deaths in law enforcement custody.

Right now, we have nothing close to that. Police departments are not required to report information about police to the Bureau of Justice Statistics. Some do, others don’t, others submit it some years and not others or submit potentially incomplete numbers, making it near-impossible to know how many people police kill every year. Based on the figures that are reported to the federal government, ProPublica recently concluded that young black men are 21 times more likely to be killed by police than whites.

Under the bill awaiting Obama’s signature, states receiving federal funds would be required to report every quarter on deaths in law enforcement custody. This includes not those who are killed by police during a stop, arrest, or other interaction. It also includes those who die in jail or prison. And it requires details about these shootings including gender, race, as well as at least some circumstances surrounding the death.

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