Crime & Justice

California to start collecting info on people shot or injured by police

A police officer in uniform.
A police officer in uniform.
Maya Sugarman/KPCC

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In a significant change to the way officer-involved shootings are tracked, law enforcement agencies across California must begin reporting those shootings and other significant uses of force to state officials starting in 2016. 

Until now, California did not collect use of force data, making it difficult to identify problematic patterns or hone best practices, according to those who supported the new state law, which was approved in October.

Earlier this year, KPCC compiled data on officer-involved shootings in a five-year period in Los Angeles County--but such information has never been available on a statewide basis in California. 

The new law will require agencies divulge information about suspects  - age, gender and race, type of stop, whether he or she was armed  - but little about the officers themselves, including their names. 

California's change comes amidst growing local and nationwide protests against police use of force, particularly the shooting deaths of young, black men. Many law enforcement leaders, from Los Angeles Police Commission President Matt Johnson to the FBI Director James Comey, have offered data collection as a response to public outcry. 

On Monday, the Office of the Attorney General publicly released data collection parameters, which were modeled after the legislation and crafted with input from California law enforcement associations, state and local law enforcement agencies, and advocacy groups, according to a release.

“California is leading the nation in promoting accountability through open data, which will strengthen trust between law enforcement and the communities that we are sworn to protect," said Kamala Harris in the release.

CA Use of Force Reporting Template