Attorney General Eric Holder announced yesterday at a Justice Department event (for Dr. Martin Luther King‘s birthday) that he would like the federal government to start tracking how many people are hurt or killed by the police, in addition to the number of cops that die on duty.
The impassioned plea comes months after criticism and outrage over deaths of unarmed Americans from police brutality, being most notably Eric Garner and Michael Brown. Holder additionally gave some solace on what this means for the police force as well, since the revenge murders of NYPD cops Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos. These new tracking proceedings would be the first step in bringing back order in the federal system and a peace of mind between civilians and the police. Holder said:
“I’ve heard from a number of people who have called on policymakers to ensure better record-keeping on injuries and deaths that occur at the hands of police. I’ve also spoken with law enforcement leaders — including the leadership of the Fraternal Order of Police — who have urged elected officials to consider strategies for collecting better data on officer fatalities. Today, my response to these legitimate concerns is simple: We need to do both.”
This would represent a common-sense step that would begin to address serious concerns about police officer safety, as well as the need to safeguard civil liberties. The troubling reality is that we lack the ability right now to comprehensively track the number of incidents of either uses of force directed at police officers or uses of force by police.”
Holder admitted that it was “unacceptable” that law enforcement agencies didn’t have the “sufficient incentives” to deliver reports on controversial shootings and that too was set to be change in the new year.
If you were wondering where the Obama Administration stands with the police, Holder exclaimed that cops were “true American heroes — whose patriotism, integrity and commitment to the highest standards of excellence are simply beyond question.” The Attorney General may feel particularly close to these subject as his own brother is a retired cop.
Holder’s hopes comes days after the NYPD’s Inspector General Philip Eure revealed to the New York media that cops were (surprisingly/what else is new) not as greatly reprimanded for using excessive force on unarmed people they had detained.