In 1 out 8 reported police shootings this year, an officer had previously used deadly force.
Another day, another quantifiable reason we need a comprehensive nationalWikipedia database documenting fatal shootings by police.
Just yesterday, I wrote about the scores of people over the past five years who had been unarmed and/or shot in the back by Georgia police. Later in the day, the Washington Post released a report that shows at least 55 officers who had previously fired their weapons in fatal shootings were involved in fatal shootings this year.
The number could actually be significantly higher, because of the 743 killings by police identified in the first 9 months of thus year, police agencies only gave the Post data relating to 367. The Post also notes, “Many departments withheld officers’ names from the public or released only vague details, making it impossible to precisely determine how many officers have been involved in multiple shootings.”
Though there has been a push for more than two decades to get the Department of Justice to demand data from local departments pertaining to shootings by police, agencies are still not required to maintain and submit such data. This has led to a number of journalistic outfits to step in where the government continues to be derelict in its duty, and create their own databases.
Geoffrey Alpert, a criminologist cited in the Post‘s article puts the current situation succinctly, “It’s a national embarrassment. We don’t even…