The United States Department of Justice will improve the way it “keeps tabs” on police brutality. Police departments will have to report fatal shootings and any incident where force is used, according to a new law. The Department of Justice will create a list of violent encounters between police and citizens that must be reported nationwide. As a result, departments that do not submit the information will be fined, WTSP.com recently reported.
The US Department of Justice will “keep tabs” on police brutality.
Black Lives Matter protests pushed the Justice Department to enact the new law. The Washington Post reported that police shot more than 750 people in the last year alone. Furthermore, shootings in major cities are bringing more attention to the ongoing problem of police brutality.
The Justice Department will collect data from local law enforcement offices across the country beginning in January 2017. The stated goal is to build transparency between police officers and the communities they serve.
President Obama enacted a law alongside Congress in 2014 to combat police brutality. It required police departments to report every death that occurred at the hands of officers. However, the law did not require reporting for any other kind of force. As a result, many shootings have gone unnoticed by the public.
Shootings in cities like Ferguson, Charlotte, and Baltimore involving unarmed black men and police officers have increased public awareness of the problem. Unfortunately, officials failed to gather efficient data in nearly every one of these cases. Lawmakers must know the details leading up to these shootings.
A lack of available data to the public is hindering further investigations. The Justice Department will keep tabs on police brutality to combat these issues.