Attorney General Eric Holder Calls For Accurate Police Encounter Data

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Data May Include Both Police And Civilian Deaths

On Thursday, Attorney General Eric Holder said that the Federal government must make an effort to collect data on the number of civilians killed by police, and the number of officers killed in the line of duty. He said that the data has to be accurate and much better than what it is now. The statement came in the face of the recent killings which involved civilians (especially colored people). Holder said in his statement, “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,” “This strikes many — including me — as unacceptable.”

2013 Saw 461 “Justifiable Homicides” By Police Officers

A track record kept by FBI on how many people have been killed by police officers in a year showed that there were 461 “justifiable homicides” by police officers in 2013. However, the Justice Department said that reporting is not mandatory and not all police departments participate, which means that the actual number may be even higher. Attention is also being paid to police officers facing danger during their duties. There is no independent data on how many police officers have been killed while on duty.

Holder Refrains From Suggesting Any Initiative

Even though Holder called upon the police to improve their process of data collecting, he did not suggest any kind of initiative to that end.Chuck Canterbury, who is the President of the Fraternal Order of Police, has called upon Congress to create and fund a program to help agencies collect and submit such data. FBI has already warned that in the near future, “domestic extremists” could pose a threat to law enforcement.

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