Justice Department to Track Use of Force by Police Across U.S. – as published by The New York Times on Oct. 13, 2016
The U.S. Justice Department announced that it will be developing an initiative to track the use of force by police due to the lack of government data and the series of protests that have ensued since 2014. The department will begin collecting nationwide data early next year. The article explains that law enforcement and government officials have yet to have an educated conversation about the issue of the use of force by police because of a lack of data. In the past two years, the news media has done a better job of tracking police shootings than the government. The Justice Department is authorizing $750,000 towards this initiative that is “designed to help local departments collect and publicly release information on a wider range of actions, including stops of citizens, searches, the use of force, shootings and other encounters.” Since the initiative depends on local departments voluntarily giving up this kind of information, the main concern is how the department will impose penalties on states that do not cooperate.
This is an important article because it puts the past years of protests against police brutality into perspective. Citizen unrest as boiled over in this nation due to the violent and visible injustices that have occurred involving police officers. Data is important to this conversation because it acknowledges a problem and gives way for further action and change to occur. However, it is troubling how long the federal government took to implement this.
This story consists of conflict and human interest. It was well-written and contained some good direct and partial quotes.