Washington, D.C.- On Tuesday, U.S. Sens. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) and Cory Booker (D- N.J.) introduced legislation that would compel all 50 states to submit reports of people killed by police officers to the Justice Department, as well as reports of people injured by police. The bill also calls for mandated reporting of cases in which police officers are killed or injured.
The legislation is titled the Police Reporting of Information, Data and Evidence (PRIDE) Act and according to Booker’s press release, the law would require states to “report to the Justice Department on any incident in which a law enforcement officer is involved in a shooting, and any other instance where use of force by or against a law enforcement officer or civilian results in serious bodily injury or death.”
The PRIDE Act would order the following information to be included in police reports to the Attorney General:
- The gender, race, ethnicity, and age of each individual who was shot, injured, or killed
- The date, time, and location of the incident
- The number of officers and number of civilians involved in the incident
- Whether the civilian was armed with a weapon
- The type of force used against the officer, the civilian, or both, including the types of weapons used
Boxer cited a lack of a dependable data collection system as a primary reason for the PRIDE Act. Police departments nationwide may voluntarily release reports, but there is no current requirement for the agencies to report on the deaths or injuries of either civilians or police officers. The FBI has a voluntary program in which police departments may submit reports of officer-involved killings deemed justifiable.
Narrower legislation, The Death in Custody Reporting Act, requires only the reporting of civilian deaths occurring in police custody or during an arrest.
“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 Booker.
Both The Washington Post and The Guardian released reports this week documenting killings by police based their own investigations. The Washington Post has counted 385 people killed by police officers in 2015, which translates to over 2 killings per day.
The Guardian revealed a searchable database, called The Counted, which claims a higher number of people killed by police this year- 470. The Guardian included causes of death for those people killed, as well as names and photos for some of them. Sources for this database are a combination of “Guardian reporting with verified crowdsourced information to build a more comprehensive record of such fatalities.”