• Press Release

Voluntary Reporting Undercuts FBI Data Collection Reforms on Use of Force

December 9, 2015

The FBI recently announced plans to improve its system for tracking fatal police shootings and said it would begin collecting data on all incidents involving serious injury or death. In response, Jamira Burley, senior campaigner for Amnesty International USA, issued the following statement:

“The FBI’s current system for tracking fatal police shootings is woefully inadequate. We strongly support tracking a broader set of data on a broader range of use of force incidents.

“But the FBI’s overhauled tracking system will only be as good as the data that goes into it. The current system is deeply flawed by a reliance on voluntary reporting by law enforcement agencies, and the new system won’t be any different.

“The FBI official who oversees data collection said the agency will rely on ‘peer pressure and financial incentives’ to encourage individual agencies to report data on incidents involving serious injury or death. That’s not sufficient. Law enforcement agencies must be mandated to report this data.

“As events in recent months have made clear, there are serious issues with excessive use of force by law enforcement throughout the country. We need to collect data on all law enforcement agencies if we hope to truly address the problem.”