FBI to collect more data on shootings involving police officers

The F.B.I. announced they will ask local law enforcement agencies to submit more comprehensive data about police involved shootings. According to the Washington Post , this year police in the U.S. have shot and killed 738 people.

The announcement came in conjunction with the release of the F.B.I.'s 2014 Crime Statistics. According to the numbers, violent crimes in the U.S. are down by about .03 percent. The F.B.I. has been putting the statistics together for many years but they say they have to go farther to get to the root of why the crimes occur and how to prevent them from happening.

They say a little more than 1/3 of local law enforcement agencies report to the national incident based reporting system and F.B.I. Director Jim Comey is asking for more participation.

Comey says the F.B.I. is also looking to address the rise in officer involved shootings. They do collect the number of justifiable homicides reported by police as well as the number of killings and assaults of police officers. But in a statement, Comey says that's not enough to solve any real problems, so the agency is asking local law enforcement to give specifics about why and how the justifiable homicides occur.

"We hope this information will become part of a balanced dialogue in communities and in the media, a dialogue that will help to dispel misperceptions foster accountability, and promote transparency in how law enforcement personnel relate to the communities they serve," says Comey in his statement.

The Executive Director of Texas' largest law enforcement officer's union says it's a good idea to collect more comprehensive data. But Charley Wilkinson is concerned, that it will be one-sided.

"Here's the question we are going to ask, are you going to also report the number of times officers are assaulted, the number of times officers are challenged with weapons, the number of times the officer is able to disarm someone who is trying to hurt someone else or them? Because the data is going to be incomplete unless that local agency is giving you all of that information." - Charlie Wilkinson

The F.B.I. plans to compile the data and publish it in a report on how police use deadly force in the U.S. They say that report will be public.

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