The FBI’s latest Uniform Crime Report for 2014 showed a slight drop in crime, but it still only asks for “justifiable homicides” by police, instead of all fatal shootings by cops.
Only “justifiable homicides” or incidents where police investigate themselves are still reported to the official FBI database.
This NYPD officer who shot himself twice at the department’s range in August could technically be counted twice under expanded criteria to catalog wounded cops shot by citizens, since the officer did report two wounds at the range, the second of unknown origin.
In the AP story entitled “FBI to collect better data on police shootings” it’s not apparent until the bottom of the story what data they plan to improve:
[FBI Director] Comey on Monday encouraged every agency to submit the data to give the public a more complete picture. The FBI intends to collect more information about nonfatal shootings by police of civilians, including the facts and circumstances of each incident and who was involved, Comey said.
Yes, the police are improving collection of data on injured cops.
Submitting police shooting data is still optional.
Guess which one police will rush to report.
In fact, even the USA’s top cop Director James Comey at the FBI cannot order police from “18,498 city, county, state, university and college, tribal, and federal agencies” to report complete statistics on use of force to give detailed reports.
It’s unclear why police are employing this form self-regulation.
Considering the size of the above standing ranks of police in America, the situation calls for at least one independent, and compulsory report by the taxpayer supported officers to make it possible to spot national trends in law enforcement.
Every day taxpayers are paying police to commit these acts, and often paying the settlements and costs of the many civil rights and wrongful death lawsuits every year, yet those same taxpayers won’t be rewarded with tough mandatory reporting standards to tell them the results of all of this law enforcement effort.
According to the AP‘s report:
As part of its Uniform Crime Reporting program, the FBI tracks the number of police officers who are slain, as well as the number of justifiable homicides by police that are reported by law enforcement agencies.
But those records are known to be incomplete since it is voluntary for police departments to feed data into the FBI’s system, and little more than a third of local agencies do it, Comey said.
The 2014 Uniform Crime Report notes the following reductions in crime in the United States, and “estimated rate of violent crime was 365.5 offenses per 100,000 inhabitants… property crime rate was 2,596.1 offenses per 100,000 inhabitants. The violent crime rate declined 1.0 percent compared to the 2013 rate, and the property crime rate declined 5.0 percent.”
No mention was made of the police narrative “War on Cops” and if you want to track the number of police shootings that cops themselves mis-report or lie about, you’ll have to switch from FBI stats to reading PINAC News.
This race to statistics is a game the cops know all too well, having learned from “broken windows” theory that the power of a good spreadsheet makes for good community policing.
Because it’s easier to prove your point with a sheet full of meaningful feeling numbers.
Meanwhile, citizens who want to actually know what their public officials are doing with their badges and guns must turn to websites like Killed by Police or the Washington Post’s database which both collect more complete, yet “unofficial” information on citizens killed by police for all reasons, than is collected by the FBI today.