Create a national database for police shootings

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As a 34-year veteran of the Maryland State Police and Baltimore Police Department, it troubles me that there is no national database to track police shootings of civilians. This means that we don’t know exactly how many people are killed by police each year. And lawmakers and other authorities don't have the information they need when making decisions about policy changes that could save lives.

Currently the best data we have on police killings is from the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting but these killings are self-reported by law enforcement and participation in the database is voluntary -- only about 750 agencies contribute to it, a fraction of the 17,000 law enforcement agencies in the United States.

The Department of Justice must create a comprehensive national database of police shooting killings by police to take a step toward preventing more senseless killings. Please sign our petition.

The new database should make reporting of shootings and killings by police mandatory -- and have consequences like loss of federal funding for state and local law enforcement who fail to report this information.

A national database would not only help leaders make good decisions, it would also allow journalists, watchdog organizations and families to have the information we need to hold the police accountable when they kill someone unjustifiably.

In the year 2020, we should have a comprehensive record of how many people police officers kill every year. Please sign my petition to create a database as an important first step to improving policing and saving lives.