Rep. wants state record kept of officer-involved shootings

A Dallas state representative wants officer-involved shootings reported to the state.

State Rep. Eric Johnson (D), is proposing that a record of all such shootings be kept by the attorney general.

"Right now, there's no law that requires anybody to report those incidents anywhere, and therefore there's a very mixed bag on who actually has good data on how many shootings they've had in a year, who doesn't," said Johnson.

"They need to add the criminal history of the suspect," said Ron Pinkston with the Dallas Police Association. "If he's deceased, they need to add the juvenile criminal history of the suspect. That will let you know what type of person the officer was dealing with."

While supportive of the bill's intended transparency, with that proviso, Pinkston says the greatest hurdle is funding.

"Somebody's gotta take that information, has to post it and has to log it and then put it on a computer program," said Pinkston. "The computer program's gonna cost money. Also, there's gonna be some significant costs associated with it."

Still, after a summer of high-profile police shootings across the country rekindled the debate over use of deadly force, including in Texas, it would be worth it to Johnson – not only to create a record, but to be able to compare departments.

"And learn what some departments are doing to keep their shootings down and what some departments are doing that maybe we want to learn from to help improve policing," said Johnson.

The information that is available so far comes from a fraction of departments that voluntarily self-report.

The Dallas Police Department is among those and has done so for some time.


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