FBI set to revamp ‘unacceptable’ system that tracks police shootings

9 Dec 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

FBI Plan to Track All Police Shootings Still on Schedule: Report.

Two months after FBI Director James Comey called the bureau’s system for tracking fatal police shootings “unacceptable” and “embarrassing and ridiculous,” the FBI announced plans Tuesday to revamp the system, expanding its focus to track any incident that causes serious injury and death to civilians in near-real time.The federal agency plans to overhaul its data collection on police shootings by 2017 because their current system is a “travesty,” a senior FBI official told the Washington Post.The Justice Department’s plan to more aggressively track shootings involving police remains on track for deployment by 2017, a top FBI official was quoted as saying Tuesday.

There has been no shortage of surprising and disturbing revelations since the nation’s focus landed on police violence, following the August 2014 shooting Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. The new program will include real-time statistics on all manners of deaths and injuries and will likely take note of race and gender for both the officer and suspect to qualm a “real human outcry” for transparency. “People want to know what police are doing,” said Stephen Morris, the FBI’s assistant director for the Criminal Justice Information Services Division. “They want to know why they are using force.” The revamped database, however, will not require police forces to contribute violent encounters. Responding to months of sharp criticism over its existing program for reporting fatal shootings by police officers, the bureau is to unveil a new system that will publish a wider range of data, resembling that currently collected by an ongoing Guardian investigation. The policy of voluntary reporting to the FBI’s national statistics has left hundreds of police killings unaccounted for, according to an investigation by the Wall Street Journal.

The FBI’s efforts follow a year of national focus on fatalities and injuries at the hands of police, with widespread frustration over the lack of reliable data on the incidents. The death of Michael Brown, an 18-year-old black man shot and killed by a white police officer last year in Ferguson, Mo., ignited a nationwide clamor for police accountability. WASHINGTON — The nation is on the verge of a sweeping shift in education, with states poised to gain greater control over school accountability and the ways testing is used to evaluate teachers, schools and student progress. In the wake of several controversial incidents in which police shootings of civilians created intense public backlash, the Justice Department and the FBI have acknowledged in the last two years that their collection of such data is grossly inadequate.

Officials said statisticians were intending to count deadly incidents involving physical force, Tasers and blunt weapons used by officers as well as firearms, and that they planned to begin gradually publishing some more information about fatal incidents as soon as 2016. Although the federally mandated reading and math exams in grades 3 to 8 and in high school continue, legislation expected to be voted on by the Senate today encourages states to set caps on overall testing. Both have produced invaluable archives requiring immense amounts of work; it is telling of the need for a centralized collection that they chose slightly different metrics, and as a result have two different databases. CHICAGO — The Chicago police, facing almost daily protests and a newly announced Justice Department investigation, released footage Monday night showing a 38-year-old black man being shocked by a Taser and dragged down a hallway by officers in 2012.

Lynch’s predecessor as attorney general, Eric Holder, raised similar concerns in January, saying in a speech in Washington: “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. Comey’s comments, to a gathering of politicians and law enforcement officials, came after reviewing two databases created by the Post and the Guardian, which focused on fatal police violence. Most importantly, the data will be collected and shared with the public in “near real-time,” as the incidents occur, Morris said, instead of being mentioned only at the end of the year. “When agents of the state put bullets downrange in citizens, we need to know about that. The Guardian’s database focused more broadly on deaths in police custody, including shootings and other means, identifying 1,058 people who were killed. 266 were black, or 6.32 deaths per million people, far outstripping other racial groups relative to their representation in the population. Fixing this is an idea that we should all be able to unite behind.” Lynch announced in early October that the FBI and the Justice Department’s Bureau of Justice Statistics were overhauling their efforts, first started in 1929, to collect and maintain reliable data.

By Tuesday evening, the Counted, a Guardian database published since 1 June, had recorded 1,058 deaths caused by law enforcement officers so far this year. The officers’ treatment of the man, Philip Coleman, received a withering rebuke from Mayor Rahm Emanuel, whose handling of other use-of-force cases has prompted calls for his resignation, and who has announced a series of changes in recent days as pressure mounted. It is now the highest priority.” Police experts warned the Post that the success of the system will be determined by the specifics, which is also what I heard in June. But as with previous data collection efforts, the database would rely on voluntary reports from local police departments as the FBI has said it lacks the legal authority to require departments to report incidents of police violence.

The beefed-up data, the FBI said in October, “will outline facts about what happened, who was involved, the nature of injuries or deaths, and the circumstances behind these incidents.” “To continue in our current system without comprehensive data only stalls meaningful conversation and fuels empty debates, both within law enforcement and in the communities we serve,” it said at the time. Supreme Court grappled with the meaning of the “one person, one vote” principle, hearing arguments in a case that might transform the way legislative maps are drawn and reduce Hispanic clout in elections. The announcement is also a victory for journalists who undertook the project—and an acknowledgement that gathering this kind of data comprehensively should, and truly only can, be the province of government.

Since 2011, less than 3 percent of the 18,000 state and local police agencies have shared data on fatal shootings, the Post reported. “For a lot of departments, it’s not like they were actively against [releasing data], they just didn’t really know how to do it,” Clarence Wardell, a Presidential Innovation Fellow who works on the White House’s Police Data Initiative said at an event at Harvard’s Kennedy School in November. The court is weighing whether states and local governments can continue their decades-old practice of using total population as the basis for drawing equal-sized voting districts. The bureau has scrapped its old data and begun a pilot program based on the Post’s database and other sources in order to gather records on deaths that are not being identified. Two Texas voters say the measure should instead be eligible voters, an approach that would reduce representation for areas with lots of children and non-citizens. Some campaigners have placed more hopes in a second new government system for counting killings by police, in which officials will proactively seek reports of officer-involved homicides and make follow-up inquiries with local authorities for more information.

DENVER — The man accused of killing three people at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado asked at least one person in a nearby shopping center for directions to the facility before opening fire, a law enforcement official said, offering the clearest suggestion yet that he was targeting the reproductive health organization. Prosecutors this week plan to charge Robert Lewis Dear, 57, with murder and other crimes in the Nov. 27 attack that also left nine other people wounded. Three years after the Sandy Hook mass shooting prompted public demands to reform mental health care, an increasing number of states have cut funding for mental health services, according to a report released on Tuesday by a mental health advocacy group. The report by the National Alliance on Mental Illness said that only 23 states increased mental health spending in 2015, compared with 36 states in 2013 and 29 in 2014.

A family of six went to live Monday near relatives who were already living in the Dallas area, and a Syrian couple and their two small children arrived safely in Indiana Monday night, officials said. Petraeus, the retired general and former CIA director who quit in a scandal three years ago, not face any further punishment for having an affair with his biographer and providing her with top-secret materials, according to Pentagon officials.

Carter still has not yet formally received the Army’s recommendation. “Once he reviews the recommendation in full he will make his decision,” Mr. NEW YORK — Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc., reeling from an E. coli outbreak that has sickened dozens of customers, closed a restaurant in Boston following complaints of “gastrointestinal symptoms” from scores of Boston College students, including members of the men’s basketball team. “Our restaurant at Cleveland Circle in Boston is temporarily closed while we work with local health officials to investigate a number of illnesses among Boston College students,” Chris Arnold, a spokesman for the chain, said in an email. “There are no confirmed cases of E. coli connected to Chipotle in Massachusetts.” Mr.

The coroner in Iberia Parish, a coastal parish south of Lafayette, had already ruled that Victor White shot himself on the evening of March 2, 2014, despite being handcuffed behind his back while sitting in the car after a drug arrest. Webster, 42, testified that he didn’t intend to kick Lateef Dickerson in the head in the August 2013 encounter and was instead was aiming for his upper body. LOS ANGELES — A company seeking to bring Elon Musk’s hyperloop transportation concept into reality plans to begin work this month on a small test site in North Las Vegas.

Los Angeles-based Hyperloop Technologies Inc. announced Tuesday that a 0.6-mile track it’s building in the Mountain View Industrial Park will be used to test a custom-designed electric engine at speeds of up to 336 mph in the coming months. The engine would be a key piece of the hyperloop, a proposed intercity transportation system that would shuttle compartments filled with people and goods through large tubes. The federal government Monday dangled up to $40 million for a midsize city to come up with the best plan to catapult itself into the technological future.

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