In a speech to honor Martin Luther King Jr., Attorney General Eric Holder said that more data should be collected to quantify how often police officers use force, as well as how many times they themselves are attacked or killed, Al-Jazeera reports.
“This would represent a commonsense step that would begin to address serious concerns about police officer safety, as well as the need to safeguard civil liberties,” Holder said during a Justice Department ceremony Thursday.
Not all local police departments track or release their data describing the number of “justifiable homicides” committed by their police officers, according to Al-Jazeera. And that makes the FBI’s data on those incidents incomplete. For example, the Wall Street Journal took a look at the FBI report and found that “more than 550 incidents” of police killings were missing from the data.
Police killings have been at the forefront of a national conversation about excessive police force used in African-American and Hispanic communities. Holder said that policymakers need concrete data to rely on that will paint an accurate picture of the issue.
“It is incumbent upon all of us to protect both the safety of our police officers and the rights and well-being of all of our citizens,” Holder said, adding, “We can, and we must, examine new ways to do both.”
Read more at Al-Jazeera.