FBI’s Failure to Collect Use of Force Data Perpetuates Lack of Police Accountability

Contact: Shin Inouye, [email protected], 202.869.0398

WASHINGTON – Wade Henderson, interim president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, issued the following statement in response to the Government Accountability Office’s report concluding that the FBI’s National Use-of-Force Database may shut down by next December due to the lack of participation by local law enforcement agencies:

“Use-of-force data is only meaningful if it is complete and accessible to the public. The FBI’s failed voluntary database illustrates our government’s shameful inability and unwillingness to hold police accountable for their actions. The federal government must make use of force data collection and reporting mandatory for all federal, state, and local law enforcement departments in the U.S. and its territories. At a bare minimum, there is no excuse for federal agencies, in particular the Bureau of Prisons, to fail to provide this crucial information. Without comprehensive data on police-community interactions, there is no accountability. Our communities demand better.”

The Leadership Conference launched their own database Accountable Now in February, after years of advocating for a mandatory, public federal portal that never materialized. The organization and its partners have compiled and analyzed data from dozens of the country’s largest police departments on Accountable Now, but the vast majority of agencies—including the FBI—choose to keep data secret. Though any individual can request data through the Freedom of Information Act, police departments often fail to produce reports in an accessible manner.

For more information, visit www.accountablenow.com.

The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights is a coalition charged by its diverse membership of more than 230 national organizations to promote and protect the rights of all persons in the United States. The Leadership Conference works toward an America as good as its ideals. For more information on The Leadership Conference and its member organizations, visit www.civilrights.org.