Washington, D.C. — Todd Cox, Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress, released the following statement on the Police Reporting of Information, Data and Evidence Act. Introduced today by Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ), the legislation would require increased data collection on incidents involving use of force by or against law enforcement officers:
As we continue to engage in a wide-ranging conversation about how to reform many aspects of the criminal justice system in this country and seek to make meaningful change on issues, such as the use of force by law enforcement and improving police-community relations, we have been stymied by the lack of comprehensive, reliable data about the most serious confrontations between police officers and members of the community, in particular the use of force by and against officers. While the anecdotal evidence and limited available data suggest that there is a significant disparity in how law enforcement applies use-of-force policies across the country, with the burden falling disproportionately on communities of color, we lack a comprehensive understanding of the true scope of the problem. Without these data, we cannot begin to develop smart, progressive laws and policies to reduce fatal altercations between police and those they are sworn to serve. The gaps in data on these issues have been well documented, and this legislation fills a critical need that should help provide key data to inform our reform efforts.
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