Editorial: Too many police departments aren’t providing needed data. Congress should require it. | Editorial

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An FBI project designed to finally quantify use-of-force trends by police around the country is in danger of folding in 2022 because of lack of participation by local police forces, including most of those in Missouri and Illinois. This is perhaps a predictable result of essentially asking local police to voluntarily compile and turn over data that could make them look bad. The solution isn’t that complicated: Congress should require police to provide this information.

Intense public focus in recent years on police violence against citizens has produced promising reforms around the country. But because of limited information available regarding use-of-force incidents, it’s difficult to determine whether those reforms are working. As then-FBI Director James Comey put it in 2016, the agency has “no idea whether the number of Black people or brown people or white…

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