On Tuesday, Democratic senators announced they will introduce a bill that would require all states to report police shootings to the Department of Justice.
The Washington Post reports:
The legislation, introduced by Sens. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) and Cory Booker (D-N.J.), would require reporting of all shootings by police officers — including non-fatal ones — which is a step further than the Death In Custody Reporting Act, which was approved by Congress last year. Each state would be required details including age, gender, race and whether the person was armed for any police shooting.
“Too many members of the public and police officers are being killed, and we don’t have reliable statistics to track these tragic incidents,” Boxer said in a statement. “This bill will ensure that we know the full extent of the problem so we can save lives on all sides.”
Roland Martin and the NewsOne Now Straight Talk panel discussed the proposed legislation and the impact a bill of this nature would have on community policing.
NewsOne Now panelist Lauren Victoria Burke told Martin she doesn’t understand why this bill is being offered, because the Death In Custody Reporting Act is already law.
“This bill would appear to be duplicative to what the President signed into law in 2014,” said Burke.
She later added that one of the main differences between the newly proposed bill and the Death in Custody Reporting Act is that it “does not require the Department of Justice to take the data and then make recommendations for change.”
Multi-media journalist Ray Baker said one of the major differences in this bill is that it asks whenever a police officer is injured in the line of duty with any type of physical aggression against that officer, the incident be documented.
Despite the similarities between the Boxer/Booker sponsored bill and the Death in Custody Reporting Act, Baker hopes the new piece of legislation would “remove some of this perceived threat that we hear so often when we see law enforcement officials using violence against citizens.”