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Holder Calls for Federal Database of Officer-Involved Shootings and Duty Deaths

January 15, 2015  | 

Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. said Thursday that the federal government should collect “better, more accurate data” regarding how many civilians are killed by police and how many officers are killed in the line of duty.

“The troubling reality is that we lack the ability right now to comprehensively track the number of incidents of either uses of force directed at police officers or uses of force by police,” Holder said Thursday morning at a ceremony honoring the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., according to his prepared remarks. “This strikes many — including me — as unacceptable.”

A series of high-profile police shootings last year, including the deaths of Michael Brown in Missouri and Tamir Rice in Ohio, sparked a wave of protests and revived a debate regarding the way police officers use lethal force. It also drew attention to the fact that the debate was occurring despite the lack of a comprehensive national database documenting every time police officers shot or killed someone.

The FBI keeps track of what are deemed “justifiable homicides” by police officers. In 2013, the FBI reported that there were 461 such deaths at the hands of law enforcement officers. However, as the Justice Department notes, the reporting is not mandatory and not all police departments participate. As a result, journalists and academics who independently study the issue believe the numbers are incomplete and say there are more than 1,000 such deaths each year, the Washington Post reports.

Holder said Thursday that improving the way this information is collected would simultaneously address concerns people have regarding police officer safety and civil liberties.

Chuck Canterbury, president of the Fraternal Order of Police, has called on Congress to create and fund a program to help agencies collect and submit this data.

Comments (12)

Displaying 1 - 12 of 12

westcoastleo @ 1/15/2015 4:30 PM

Anything that Holder is involved with is a crime in itself. Who is he to demand or ask for this. He should look into the mirror before asking for any changes. Not that anything would make a difference. The "High-profile police shootings last year", were justified in the mindes of the officers in both cities. In Holder's mind they were not.

Tom Ret @ 1/15/2015 5:01 PM

What I find unacceptable is bozo, Holder, trying to dictate how law enforcement should be conducted.

Mike Pigg @ 1/15/2015 5:44 PM

You'd think Mr. Holder who is supposed to be the chief law enforcement officer of the USA would know that there's already a reporting system in place to keep track of all law enforcement officers who are assaulted or killed. It's called the Uniform Crime Report or UCR. Most likely he has a hidden agenda. Or is putting up a usual Obama administration "smoke screen". What better way to garner public support for a report on all the people law enforcement "assault" or "kill" than to claim there is a need for a report of both types of incidents.

RPG156 @ 1/15/2015 5:56 PM

Where exactly, Mr. Holder, does an officer involved shooting not get reported by the media in the United States? I challenge you to tell us where that has happened. Doesn't the DOJ have internet access?

Big Harv @ 1/15/2015 6:44 PM

I'm trying to thimk of anything Holder has done thst is worthwile...

me @ 1/15/2015 7:02 PM

Just more race-baiting & raciel war-mongering from this unmittigated POS. FBI compiles & publishes data every year.

gawoods @ 1/15/2015 7:56 PM

Silly man. Someone should tell him about UCR we have been sending that data to DOJ for years.

RFMeyer @ 1/15/2015 9:00 PM

I had a lot of deaing with UCR in the 1990s. If I remember correctly, justifiable homicides committed by law enforcement were only reported if the deceased was a felon.

GP Cobb @ 1/15/2015 9:41 PM

Are you chitting me? Now we are gonna keep track and research, the police VS of criminals..............

XFEd @ 1/16/2015 3:14 AM

Someone such as Holder who hates police ought not be AG.

Morning Eagle @ 1/16/2015 3:50 AM

This is just another ploy to expand the feds ability to monitor and control police agencies. If they do this it won't be long until the already constant threat of the injustice department coming up with trumped up charges of violation of some scumbag's civil rights will be even more prevalent.

Lt Dan @ 1/16/2015 6:45 AM

Information is power. In the hands of the right person it is a good thing. In the hands of the wrong person it is a bad thing. Most all will agree that this executive branch is not a friend of the working LEOs.

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