Get Our Newsletter



Links

Columnists



Site Search


Entire (RSS)
Comments (RSS)

Archive Calendar

January 2020
S M T W T F S
« Dec    
 1234
567891011
12131415161718
19202122232425
262728293031  

Guides

How to Become a Bounty Hunter



Tag: shootings

Justice Department to Begin Tallying Number of Killings by Police Nationwide

Attorney General Loretta Lynch

Attorney General Loretta Lynch

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

For the first time, the federal government is tallying the number of killings by police around the country.

U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced a pilot program Monday to begin an open-source system to accurately account for every death at the hands of American law enforcement, the Guardian reports. 

The move comes after activists and lawmakers have called on the federal government to keep better track of the police killings.

The tracking program has begun but will be fully active at the beginning of 2016.

The Bureau pf Justice Statistics will run the program.

Forbes: Don’t Expect Much from FBI Director’s Call for Better Police Shooting Data

police lightsBy Mathew Feeney
Forbes Contributor 

Despite widespread media coverage of police shootings, no one knows for sure how many Americans are killed by police officers each year. That’s why FBI director James Comey’s announcement this week that the FBI plans to collect more data related to police shootings was initially encouraging to policy analysts like me. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like Comey’s proposal will provide accurate numbers.

The FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) program does include data on the number of police officers killed on the job and the number of “justifiable homicides” committed by officers, but this information is not very helpful because the FBI relies on law enforcement agencies to voluntarily hand over the information. Perhaps unsurprisingly, not every police department complies.

Those departments that do report data, however are asked to report police shootings which take place in their jurisdiction. As the Wall Street Journal pointed out in December last year, some California Highway Patrol shootings may not be accurately reported because the shootings take place in a location under another department’s jurisdiction. The report showed that the inefficiencies in the reporting for the UCR program results in hundreds of police killings being left uncounted.

Regrettably, Comey seems to be doing little to provide law enforcement agencies with incentives to volunteer more accurate use-of-force data. Given the United States’ federalist system, the FBI cannot currently demand that law enforcement agencies hand over data on use-of-force incidents.

While government data on police killings is poor, two newspapers are keeping track of such incidents this year. The Washington Post is collecting information on police shootings (741 so far this year) and The Guardian is tracking all police killings (875 so far this year). For the time being, it looks as if the best source for police killings in the United States will be non-government projects like these.

Border Patrol Agents Absolved of Every Shooting But 3; Others Under Investigation

istock photo

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Border Patrol has absolved agents of 64 of 67 shootings, according to a recently completed review, the Los Angeles Times reports. 

The shootings, which resulted in 19 deaths, were considered justifiable use of force.

Three cases are still under investigation and involve shootings.

Charges have not resulted from any of the cases. In one case, two agents were disciplined and received oral reprimands.

“Turning the page doesn’t mean burying the past,” said Chris Rickerd, a border security expert at the American Civil Liberties Union in Washington. “There is no assurance to border residents that agents who have used excessive, improper lethal force aren’t on the job in their communities.”

Criminologist: FBI Distorts Mass Shooting Incidents for Political Purposes

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com
 
The FBI’s crime statistics on mass shootings are “politically biased” to make the incidents appear more common and deadly than they actually are, according to a criminologist. 

John Lott, president of the Crime Prevention Research Center, told Fox News that the information is misleading and not substantiated by facts.

“The FBI put out a clearly incorrect set of numbers on public shootings shortly before the November election last year,” said Lott, a frequent opinion writer for FoxNews.com and author of “More Guns, Less Crime.” “I have been reading FBI reports for 30 years and I have never seen anything like this. It is one thing for the Bureau of Justice Statistics or the National Institute of Justice to put out politically biased studies, but there has always been a Chinese wall separating the FBI raw data collection from political pressures.”

Fox News said Lott’s group concluded there was a major flaw.

“The data was gleaned from news reports, and noted recent accounts were more accessible, and thus over-represented. Recent cases of the far more common ‘active shooting incidents’ were added to legitimate cases of mass shooting incidents, making the more recent years covered by the report appear to have a large increase in both mass shootings and deaths from them.”

 

 

FBI Arrests Lone Gunman Accused of Shooting Spree in Washington D.C., Baltimore

The NSA headquarters in Maryland was damaged by gunfire.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI arrested a man accused of at least five shootings in the Baltimore and Washington D.C. area over the past two weeks.

The New York Daily News reports that the suspect, whose name has not yet been released, also shot up the NSA building Tuesday.

“We believe the subject responsible for shooting incidents on the ICC, near Fort Meade Army installation, and other locations around the Baltimore-Washington metro area in the last two weeks is in custody,” FBI Public Affairs Specialist Amy J. Thoreson said in a statement.

No one was injured in the NSA shooting.

It remains unclear whether the NSA was the intended target.

Obama Adminstration Slow at Cracking Down on Border Patrol Shootings

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Obama administration’s pledge to discipline Border Patrol agents who use excessive force is nearly a year old and hardly any progress has been made, The Los Angeles Times reports.

Shooting cases remain unresolved and undisciplined. A review panel tasked with making recommendations has yet to do so. And internal affairs’ top two jobs are vacant.

The administration responded that the reforms are caught up in union rules and red tape.

In the past five years, Border Patrol agents have shot and killed two dozen people along the Southwest border, The Times wrote. None of the shootings led to disciplinary actions or charges.

“I’m not sure we will reach a level of satisfaction with the public on every one of those cases,” said R. Gil Kerlikowske, commissioner of Customs and Border Protection, the parent agency for the Border Patrol. “But we will be much more thorough, much more accountable and we will be much more transparent … going forward.”

 

Police Kill Civilians At Much Higher Rate Than Is Reported by Federal Agencies

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

Police killings are underreported and occur more often than federal agencies have reported, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Between 2007 and 2012, more than 550 homicides by cops were not included in federal statistics.

The Journal examined figures from the nation’s 105 largest police departments to find that at least 1,800 deaths occurred in the six-year timeframe. That’s a 45% increase from the FBI’s tally of 1,242.

The problem, the newspaper reported, is that law enforcement agencies aren’t reporting all of the killings by police officers.

The discovery comes as protests have broken out across the country following the deaths of several black people at the hands of white police officers.

Former CBP Insider Accuses Agency of Corruption, Distortions to Cover Up Deaths

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

James Tomsheck, who was forced to resign as internal affairs for CBP, said the agency made it difficult for him to investigate internal complaints.

NPR reports that Tomscheck believes some Border Patrol agents aren’t being held accountable because of a culture that evades legal restraints.

Tomscheck said about a quarter of the 28 fatal shootings by agents and officers are highly suspicious, yet no one has paid any consequences.

“I believe the system was clearly engineered to interfere with our efforts to hold the Border Patrol accountable,” he says.

“Some persons in leadership positions in the Border Patrol were either fabricating or distorting information to give the outward appearance that it was an appropriate use of lethal force when in fact it was not.”

Tomscheck said he became a scapegoat for the problems in the agency.