Congress Passed a Bill Addressing Police Killings While No One Was Looking

Let Our Voices Echo


After watching nationwide protests unfold against police brutality, members of Congress did what they have seemed incapable of doing for years: something.

A bill passed by both chambers of Congress and headed to President Barack Obama’s desk will requirelocal law enforcement agencies to report every police shooting and other death at their hands. That data will include each victim’s age, gender and race as well as details about what happened.

“You can’t begin to improve the situation unless you know what the situation is,” bill sponsor Rep. Bobby Scott (D-Va.) told the Washington Post. “We will now have the data.”

It’s not the first time Congress has tried: The same law was actually passed back in 2000, but was allowed to lapse in 2006 and was never reauthorized (despite repeated attempts by Scott). Because it takes years for enough local departments to start submitting all that data, the original law…

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Posted on 12/15/2014, in Cops Gone Wild, Department of Justice and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 16 Comments.

  1. That’s a start!
    Keep working Congress!

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  2. Yes it’s about time.

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  3. Annie Cabani

    I am truly shocked. Now we’ll have to see whether the new program gets any funding! An efficient data retrieval system, data warehouse, and strong analytics software will be essential at the very least. And, of course, there’s no substitute for sufficient human intelligence (i.e., staffing) in the mix, too.

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  4. crustyolemothman

    I have not posted much recently, basically because I have been reading and re-reading the Grand Jury transcripts in the Wilson/Brown case. But I will take a moment to attempt to make a point about this Bill that has been passed. On the surface it sounds good, and it does serve at least one purpose, it throws a smoke screen out to allow the Brown death to start to go out of focus. I would suggest that if you think about the way our nations laws were structured in the beginning or our country, and realize that the state and local communities were given the right to maintain a means to enforce the laws of this nation. While we might think that the Federal government is the major force in law enforcement, it simply is not, and what will ultimately cause this bill to not be adhered to is that it encroaches on the rights of the various states to enforce the laws of their state. I might bring up one more point if you will allow me to, in this time of massive data collection by our Federal Government, I would be hard put to accept that the information that this bill aims to collect is not already contained in some form with in one of our governmental agencies. If they are able to tell you how many crimes have been committed and by what gender and race, do you actually not think they can tell you how many police involved deaths there are in any given period? How much government do you really want in your life? Last comment, with the absolute and complete defeat of the Democrats in this past election and the pending absolute control of both factions of the legislative branch of this nation, do you actually think things will improve in the area off race relations?

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    • Crusty…..I haven’t had the time to read the GJ report yet…..what is your opinion on it so far?

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      • crustyolemothman

        towerflower, Near the start of the case, I made a prediction that the officer would not be charged, not because of the evidence that had come out at that time, simply because historically it has been difficult to get a conviction on a police officer due to the way the laws that apply are written. Now, after reading to the point my eyes hurt, and keeping emotion and bias out of my head, I will simply state, had the case gone to trial there would not have been a conviction. IMO this case has and will continue to cause a major set back in the goal of equality for all citizens regardless of race, culture, or sexual orientation. When it became a political rather than a legal issue, we caused a wall to be put up that is going to be difficult to climb over… I say this knowing full well my words will not be well received by many people, that is their choice, I have to answer your question honestly and without bias one way or the other ….

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        • yahtzeebutterfly

          And, how do you explain shell casing 18’s location?

          (casings 16, 15, 14 13 all indicate that Wilson was backing up towards his cruiser as Mike was slowly moving (I bet STUMBLING the length of a standard size car) towards the cruiser from the bloodstain drip where he had turned around surrendering with his hands up.)

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          • yahtzeebutterfly

            Shell casing at marker #4 indicates that Wilson’s gun ejected shells to the right.

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          • crustyolemothman

            yahtzeebuterfly, Because I honestly feel that we would never agree on the evidence or the testimony of the witnesses in this case, discussing it would be futile, and I respectfully decline to be placed in what could become a hostile environment rather easily. Thanks for understanding…

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        • Mothman,

          When it became a political rather than a legal issue, we caused a wall to be put up that is going to be difficult to climb over…

          That is why I believe that state attorneys should not be elected. I don’t know an alternative other than maybe being appointed by the governor, and even then for a set term. Too many state attorneys run for office unopposed. Once they get their gatekeepers in place, it is difficult for victims to get through that gate because the prosecutors’ offices pick and choose what cases they want to prosecute.

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    • yahtzeebutterfly

      Shell casings in orange. The one closest to the two blood stains on the road is the shell casing with marker #18. That had to eject to the right as stated above. This means that Wilson was right up next to Michael Brown…Right where Michael Brown turned around.

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  5. peni4yothot

    FYI folks, this isn’t the first time this law has been in effect. IIRC, in 2000 it went into effect; BUT no one followed up compliancy. No overseer committee.
    No one placed any harsh stipulations, no one withheld federal taxpayer dollars from precincts. Zilch
    What did happen is/was they continued to pour militarized weaponry to state/local LE.

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