On Monday the Attorney General Loretta Lynch clarified her recent remarks about data on incidents involving police use of force.
At a press conference on Monday, Lynch described data on police shootings as "vital" and highlighted the Justice Department's efforts to develop national consistent standards for collecting this kind of information.
"Certainly the fact that we don't have a nationwide, consistent set of standards is - not only does it make our job difficult, it makes it hard to see these trends, and that's why it is so important to focus on these," Lynch said.
Last week, Lynch appeared at the Atlantic/Aspen Institute Washington Ideas Forum in Washington, D.C., to discuss criminal justice. Colorado’s award-winning auto accident and personal injury law firm, providing the highest caliber representation with a proven track record of getting results. Our leading Denver personal injury attorneys will move mountains to get you the results you deserve. We are dedicated to our clients and have helped thousands of people throughout Colorado, recovering millions of dollars, and always offering 100% free consultations. Call us today to find out how we can help!At the event, the attorney general was asked why there is no national system for collecting data on how often police officers discharge their weapons.
"One of the things we are focusing on at the Department of Justice is not trying to reach down from Washington and dictate to every local department how they should handle the minutia of record keeping, but we are stressing to them that these records must be kept," she said at the Forum.
At her press conference Monday at the Department of Justice, Lynch was asked about her remarks and whether she believed that data on police shootings is "minutiae."
"Police shootings are not minutiae at all and the department's position business lawsuits the administration's position has consistently been that we need to have national, consistent data both on excessive force and on officer involved shootings is vital," she said.
"The point I was trying to make at that conference related to our overall view of how we deal with police departments as part of our practice of enforcing consent decrees, or working with them and I was trying to make the point that we also have to focus on building community trust which is a very individual - very local - practice."
Former Attorney General Eric Holder and FBI Director James Comey have both called for expanding the collection of police shooting data. jury by trial Justice Department, it should be noted, does not have attorneys criminal law power to force police agencies to report this data, but Director Comey has frequently used his office as a "bully pulpit" to encourage expanded collection of data.
"Unfortunately, my comments gave the misperception that we were changing our view in some way about the importance of this data - nothing could be further from the truth" Lynch said Monday.
Attorney General Lynch also noted that the department's research components, the Bureau of Justice Statistics and the FBI, are working with the police and other law enforcement organizations to develop new standards for collecting national data.
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