Everything is bigger in Texas, including the count of police shooting at citizens.
The terse statement Texas Attorney General’s official website explains more:
The Office of the Attorney General (OAG) will be adopting and publishing reporting forms for Officer-Involved Shooting Incidents, as required by H.B. 1036, 85th Leg., R.S. (2015), which became effective September 1, 2015. Until the OAG has adopted and published a final version of the form, and rules governing its completion and submission, all law enforcement agencies should begin using this interim form in accordance with the instructions contained therein.
Anyone who’s investigated a police shooting in Texas is familiar with the Texas AG’s office, as public records law in that state allows cops to deny every single request. Nearly every request in Texas is then forwarded to their Attorney General, who typically grants the requests which would otherwise require litigation, but still gives requestors a 45-90 day way to obtain any information.
It remains to be seen what the Texas Attorney General’s office will release from these police shooting forms.
The new “PEACE OFFICER INVOLVED INJURIES OR DEATH REPORT” form (embedded below) asks 13 different questions from simple ones like the reason for the call, ages and genders of those involved, but there’s one question sure to generate the most controversy and leave police scrambling to avoid reporting.
Lucky question number 7 reads:
7. INJURED OR DECEASED PERSON: Carried, exhibited or used a deadly weapon or Did not carry, exhibit or use a deadly weapon
The nation’s police agencies are only subject to voluntary reporting, because the FBI doesn’t similar have federal legislation mandating reporting of incidents where police take citizens lives.
The FBI did announce that they’re planning to collect more data on wounded cops though.
Texas Attorney General Facing Historic Indictment on Fraud Charges
Texas’ Attorney General Ken Paxton started on the job in January of 2015 and was recently indicted on three Securities Fraud charges in his home town of McKinney by a Collin County grand jury operated by Special Prosecutors. The New York Times reported that it was the first time a sitting Texas Attorney General faced indictment in 30 years.
Yes, that also means Paxton is from the infamous town where this summer’s Texas Pool Party incident went viral on YouTube.
It’s unclear what the Texas Attorney General’s office plans to do with these statistics once kept, but maybe the legislature will use them to legislate sorely needed limits on the use of force by Texas cops.
Because by any measure, statistical, anecdotal or video, police in Texas are out of control.