Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Unholstered: Texas Tribune takes deep dive on police shootings

The Texas Tribune today published a major web feature on police shootings in Texas. They examined shootings by 36 Texas police departments cities with more than 100,000 population for the period 2010-2015, so they don't capture other LEOs like sheriffs deputies or constables; the cities they researched include about half the state's population.

In those 36 cities they found 656 shootings involving 881 officers between 2010 and 2015. This is basically a large sample,there were many more shootings over that period.

Several article accompanied the initial web piece. This one focused on on the rarity of discipline after police shootings. Only a handful of officers were disciplined by their department: 14 were suspended, 10 were fired (including 7 who were indicted), and one received a written reprimand. Another focused on use of force when officers respond to mental health crises.

Another piece explored shootings that occurred while officers are off duty. And here's an item titled, "Seeing a threat, police will shoot an unarmed individual."

Finally, just to say so, this item about data problems surrounding police violence struck me as odd, avoiding all mention as it did of Amanda Woog's project publishing data on police shootings and deaths in custody. Especially since Woog actually corrected an erroneous Attorney General report which overstated the number of people Texas officers shot, her efforts merited mention if you're going to report on these data issues.

Regardless, this was a major undertaking. Lots of useful stuff in these reports and Grits may have more  to say when I get a chance to go through them in more detail.



doran said...

A conclusion to be drawn from the Tribune's study is that a major study of ALL law enforcement shootings needs to be done. It should include every law enforcement agency in the State, including federal, county, and DPS, as well as all municipal LEO bodies. The study needs to be very well funded, so it should probably get money from the Texas Legislature, as well as any other funds which may be available.

A Waco Friend said...

And the search needs to include all news media outlets for those shootings that do not make it into an "official report". Otherwise, the PDs can be real successful in NOT reporting every shooting. And other violence should be including including any person who needed any medical care after an encounter with the PD

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