BEACON TRANSCRIPT – After police shootings started to become one of the main focuses of the nation, with two major publications tracking crimes, FBI creates better system for keeping track of police violence.
The information on police shootings is almost non-existent, despite the fact that there was a law mandating reports but it only relied on information that wasn’t constantly updated.
Given the population’s raising concern, two major publications, The Guardian and The Washington Post started two separate projects to track violence. They chose different metrics and therefore they have created two different databases. A centralized collection of data must be created in order to have a better understanding of what’s going on in the country with police violence.
James Comey, the director of FBI admitted to not having a reliable record and not being able to inform citizens on the number of civilians who were shot by police. They recognize the need and the right of people to know what the police is doing and why. This is why they are starting a project on tracking not only fatal shootings, but also any type of incident in which a police officer causes a civilian serious injury, regardless of the means, whether they use pepper spray or stun guns or their fists.
Although, just as the old law, this new system also relies on voluntary reporting, the FBI has managed to convince local law enforcement to cooperate. Therefore, they are hoping to create a complete database of police violence towards civilians. However, this won’t happen until 2017.
The work done by the two newspapers is remarkable and it works like an eye-opener for the authorities that didn’t bother too much to keep tabs on and create such databases to keep us informed on what the police force is doing and why. It looks like they were constantly trying to hide their violent acts against civilians.
But an event from last year was the trigger that made citizens start wondering about police violence and put all this into motion. The event was the shooting of Michael Brown, an 18 year old black young man who was unarmed and killed by a police officer in August, 2014.
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