In light of a troubling series of police-involved shootings, NBC News says the U.S. Department of Justice has an initiative it wants to make permanent: collect data on all “arrest-related” deaths. Under the program, which was proposed last week, some 19,450 state and local law enforcement agencies and about 685 medical examiners’ offices would help catalog such incidents annually this year, and then quarterly starting next year. Each report would provide names, locations, whether or not the arrested was allegedly committing a crime, their behavior during the incident, how law enforcement responded and the manner of death.
Public comments on the DOJ’s initiative are being accepted until Oct. 3 through the Federal Register before the proposal would be formally adopted. While the FBI keeps track of some deaths linked to law enforcement-related shootings, police departments aren’t obliged to report their numbers. Police reform advocates have derided the lack of comprehensive data when it comes to arrest-related deaths and say transparency is needed to understand the scope of the issue.