We now are receiving reliable data related to police shootings and citizens. It was not until 2015 that dependable data on police shootings began to be captured completely. The data is being collected by private organizations: The Guardian News and the Washington Post. The United States of America did not have a reliable mechanism for gathering comprehensive data of police shootings.
Under pressure from the attorney general, Loretta Lynch, The Department of Justice began its own data collection activities in 2016. FBI director James Comey acknowledge that is was unacceptable for outside entities to have more reliable data on police shootings than the federal government. Director Comey’s efforts are bolstered by the Death in Custody Reporting Act of 2014 which requires states receiving federal monies to report all killings by police officers on a quarterly basis.
While we have all heard stories and news reports of police killings and brutality there was no reliable and consistent data that showed there was a crisis. The police departments also lacked quantifiable data that showed there was a problem. Often, what gets measured gets fixed.
Now we have a measuring tool. Measuring instruments often take years to produce scientifically reliable information. We already know from a practical perspective that we have problem. The question is what do we do now to protect our males and especially black males (more white males are killed per year by the police, but a disproportionately high number of black males are killed by the police per year) from being killed or injured by the police.
In 2015, one in five of people killed by the police were unarmed.
How do we save our boys now?