GAO Report Cites Need for Better Police Use-of-Force Data
The Government Accountability Office has released a report assessing the release of data from the Department of Justice (DOJ) related to law enforcement use of force. Overall, the report finds that the Department has not been consistently publishing legally required data on excessive force and that DOJ can do a better job of sharing this information. The report makes note of delays in the release of data produced by the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS), an issue not limited to use-of-force data (COSSA has written several letters advocating for the timely release of BJS data). The report recommends that BJS “assess the causes of delays in publishing reports related to law enforcement’s use of force and identify corrective actions to address such delays” and to update its own performance measures to reflect a wider breadth of its publications. In a response to the GAO report, DOJ agreed to take action to address both of these recommendations. The full report is available on the GAO website.