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Only about 27 percent of police departments supply use-of-force data to FBI: report

Only about 27 percent of police departments supply use-of-force data to FBI: report
© Greg Nash

Approximately 27 percent of police departments in the country supplied use-of-force data to the FBI in 2020, marking the second year in a row that a majority of agencies failed to provide information to the bureau.

According to the FBI’s National Use-of-Force Data Collection, 5,030 out of 18,514 federal, state, local and tribal law enforcement agencies in the nation provided use-of-force data to the FBI in 2020, which covers 42 percent of sworn officers in the nation.

The FBI said in a statement, however, that it is urging more departments to send in information, adding that final 2020 numbers, which are still being compiled and are expected to be released this summer, will cover 50 percent of officers in the country, according to The Washington Post.

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The bureau did not say what percentage of agencies they expect that to represent, the Post noted. The numbers currently available only represent participation through August.

The numbers from 2020 are similar to those recorded in 2019, which also saw about 27 percent of agencies report use-of-force information, covering 42 percent of all officers.

According to the bureau, 5,043 out of 18,514 law enforcement groups sent information that year.

On its website, the FBI said the use-of-force data is compiled to “promote more informed conversations regarding law enforcement use of force in the United States.”

According to the Post, the lack of department participation exists despite repeated pushes by the government to urge agencies to report use-of-force data, including a presidential order, congressional requests and a proposed new law requiring that police report how often officers use force.

Additionally, the lack of department participation is reportedly a source of frustration for law enforcement executives, who must rely on use-of-force statistics from sources created by the Post and other websites.

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The renewed focus on use-of-force among police officers comes after the conviction of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin for the murder of George Floyd.

Chauvin was captured on video footage last May kneeling on Floyd’s neck for more than nine minutes. Floyd was later transported to a local hospital and pronounced dead.

During Chauvin’s trial, Sgt. Jody Stiger of the Los Angeles Police Department, who was called to the stand by the prosecution as a use-of-force expert, testified that the force used by officers on Floyd during his arrest was “deadly.”