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Pass a law mandating that law enforcement must file a report with the FBI every time a police shooting results in the death of a citizen.

This petition had 134 supporters


How many people are shot and killed by law enforcement every year? No one knows. There are 17,000 law enforcement agencies in the United States, including local municipal police. There is no national database to track police shootings. The FBI has maintains a partial data based of police killings, but submitting data to the FBI is on a voluntary basis. Only 750 law enforcement agencies, just 44% of all agencies, volunteer to submit police shooting data. What the FBI  collects and reports are only those cases in which police homicides were considered justified by the departments reporting them.  Some of the largest law enforcement agencies, such as the US Border Patrol, do not report shooting incidents to anyone. It isn’t even clear if the US Border Patrol has an internal tracking system for shooting incidents.

 

So, given this very limited collection of information on police killings, what does the FBI data base show?

 

There are about 400 “justified” police homicides per year. Every week in this country there are two incidents like the one in Ferguson, Missouri, involving a white police officer shooting a black citizen. About half of all police homicides involve black citizens, and among the population of folks 21 years old or younger, the police homicide rate for blacks is 18%, twice the rate for white citizens (8.7%). And these numbers are based on voluntary self-report from less than half of all law enforcement agencies nation wide.



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