The difficulty of tracking police violence

Journalist D. Brian Burghart is compiling a database of police killings in the United States. He has a theory as to why it’s up to him to compile this database:

The biggest thing I’ve taken away from this project is something I’ll never be able to prove, but I’m convinced to my core: The lack of such a database is intentional. No government—not the federal government, and not the thousands of municipalities that give their police forces license to use deadly force—wants you to know how many people it kills and why.

He then goes on to explain all the ways people have attempted to thwart him in his effort compile such a database on his own.

The article is really interesting, and more importantly, he needs help from volunteers to fill in the details in his database. In addition to shining yet another bright light on the issue of race (and racism) in America, they also underscore the need for greater accountability for law enforcement, and databases like Fatal Encounters are one way to increase this accountability.

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