WASHINGTON, D.C. (June 2, 2015) — Todd Cox, Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress, released the following statement on the Police Reporting of Information, Data and Evidence Act. Introduced today by Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ), the legislation would require increased data collection on incidents involving use of force by or against law enforcement officers:
“As we continue to engage in a wide-ranging conversation about how to reform many aspects of the criminal justice system in this country and seek to make meaningful change on issues, such as the use of force by law enforcement and improving police-community relations, we have been stymied by the lack of comprehensive, reliable data about the most serious confrontations between police officers and members of the community, in particular the use of force by and against officers. While the anecdotal evidence and limited available data suggest that there is a significant disparity in how law enforcement applies use-of-force policies across the country, with the burden falling disproportionately on communities of color, we lack a comprehensive understanding of the true scope of the problem. Without these data, we cannot begin to develop smart, progressive laws and policies to reduce fatal altercations between police and those they are sworn to serve. The gaps in data on these issues have been well documented, and this legislation fills a critical need that should help provide key data to inform our reform efforts.”
The Center for American Progress is a nonpartisan research and educational institute dedicated to promoting a strong, just and free America that ensures opportunity for all. We believe that Americans are bound together by a common commitment to these values and we aspire to ensure that our national policies reflect these values. We work to find progressive and pragmatic solutions to significant domestic and international problems and develop policy proposals that foster a government that is “of the people, by the people, and for the people.”
U.S. Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-HI) voted for the bipartisan USA Freedom Act, which passed the House last month 338-88, and passed the Senate Tuesday 67-32.
“Today’s vote is a key first step in our ongoing effort to balance our national security and civil liberties. I will continue to fight to ensure there are responsible and effective approaches to strengthening privacy protections for law-abiding Americans while preserving our national security.
“As a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee and the Senate Intelligence Committee, I am focused on keeping Americans safe, both here and abroad. We live in a world where terrorism is a serious threat to our country, our economy, and to American lives. Our government needs appropriate surveillance and anti-terrorism tools to keep us safe, but it’s Congress’ job to ensure those tools strike the right balance between national security and protecting our privacy rights.
“The PATRIOT Act’s bulk phone records collection program does not strike the right balance. I agree with the U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals and a large bipartisan coalition that the NSA’s bulk collection of phone records exceeds Congressional authority.
“The USA Freedom Act ends bulk collection by the government while preserving the its authority to investigate terrorism in a more effective and less intrusive way.”