AJC Watchdog: First Alert

Keeping watch on those who hold the public trust and money

Failing national tracking system of police shootings to be replaced


The FBI this week announced it would replace its national system for tracking fatal police shootings that one senior official dubbed a "travesty."

The Washington Post reported that the change will take effect in 2017 as the FBI replaces the current system that has been fraught with problems and under reporting for years. There are 18,000 police agencies in the United States and the current system of reporting is voluntary and most departments do not report their deadly shootings.

In Georgia, no one tracks police shootings across the state. That void prompted the AJC/Channel 2 Action News to investigate shootings in the state. We've been investigating shootings for most of the year and have identified more than 180 fatal shootings since 2010.

One trend the AJC series identified was the lack of prosecutions when police shoot civilians in Georgia. The New Republic today highlighted our investigation in a post that detailed the wide latitude allowed prosecutors to steer the justice system in police shooting cases.

 

We will have more installments in our Over the Line series later this month.

 

 

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About the Author

Brad Schrade is a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter on the AJC’s investigative team.