Justice Dept. to Track Police Killings and Use of Force

The Justice Department has begun an initiative to track data on the police use of deadly force in the line of duty. Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch on Thursday said the department would “work alongside our local, state, tribal, and federal partners” to build the database, in the hopes of increasing transparency and improving relations between law enforcement and the public. The database was first mentioned by FBI Director James Comey in late September, when he told a congressional panel about the move. The Justice Department plans to have a pilot program in place by early 2017, to be run by the FBI and involve all major law-enforcement agencies. The FBI will not only manage a database on all instances of police using force, but also study the methodology used to collect that information. Plans for the national database come after a spate of police shootings of unarmed black men triggered protests throughout the U.S. While the new plan does not require law-enforcement agencies to collect data on non-lethal use of force, the Justice Department has said it will work to have that information included as well.