FBI Director James Comey, who recently cleared Hillary Clinton of serious wrong doing in her sticky e-mail scandal following a Department of Justice Investigation, is now addressing another highly controversial and divisive subject: the validity of concerns over the police shootings of African Americans, and the need for accurate statistics.
The FBI has started a pilot program to collect relevant data from police departments on police shooting reports, because currently there isn’t any national collection to analyze. Gathering and analyzing such statistics will help to determine whether or not there’s an epidemic of violence by police directed towards African American males, as many now believe. According to Comey, and contrary to public opinion in many circles, there currently isn’t evidence that such an epidemic of police violence exists.
Speaking to a group of police chiefs in San Diego, Directory Comey suggested that video recordings could give the impression that such an epidemic exists, when none actually does. In other words, we need hard data to either back up or refute these claims, and law enforcement must embrace the idea of collecting and distributing this data in order to make such determinations, helping to choose the right path in law and public policy.
The Black Lives Matter movement regularly protests the shootings and mistreatment of African American citizens, particularly black males, by law enforcement, throughout the United States. Over the last few years several high profile cases have come to the attention of the public, and some of them were recorded on mobile phones, dash cam videos, and other devices. Do these videos represent evidence for a deadly and growing trend, or do they capture our attention because they are novel and shocking, but don’t represent a negative trend inordinately affecting African American males? What ever your stand, the good data that Director Comey seeks to collect could help prove your case.