Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck says his department will put together a “much more comprehensive” review this year than ever before of incidents in which his officers used force, reports the Los Angeles Times. Beck told the Police Commission that his agency’s end-of-year report would look at whom police used force against, including a demographic breakdown that could be compared with the demographics of people involved in 911 calls and arrests. The report will also look at where in the city any force was used compared with where 911 calls were made and where violent crime was reported. Beck said after the meeting it was “painfully obvious” why the more detailed report will be compiled this year. The way officers use force, particularly against black men, has become a central theme in the heated national debate surrounding policing.
“If you view these things in a vacuum or with limited comparative data, it’s hard to draw conclusions,” Beck said. “I want to provide enough data that people can see the total picture, not just one small piece of it.” Los Angeles police officers have shot 33 people this year, 18 fatally. Beck told police commissioners that his officers had used force about 1,500 times this year, “most of them minor incidents.” Those occurred during a year when officers have conducted more than 500,000 stops, answered 750,000 radio calls and made more than 97,000 arrests. Although police shootings generally draw more public scrutiny, force by officers can include baton strikes, Taser deployments, grabbing someone or holding them down. Like many other police departments, Los Angeles police have been criticized for some of the shootings by officers this year.