ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI)- The shooting death of Michael Brown set off a wave of protests in St. Louis and across the nation as frustrated citizens demand transparency from law enforcement using deadly force. Gathering information on fatal police shootings can be extremely difficult not only for the public demanding answers, but also for news outlets and surprisingly, even for the FBI. It’s a situation a senior official calls a “travesty.”
According to the Washington Post‘s latest numbers, more than 900 people have been shot and killed by police in the U.S.this year alone. That averages to about three deaths a day. Compare that to previous years, where FBI data shows less than half that amount, about 400 deaths a year over the past decade.
FBI Director James Comey called the disparity “embarrassing and ridiculous.”
The Washington Post quotes a senior official with the FBI who said this move is in response to real human outcry adding, “People want to know what police are doing, and they want to know why they are using force. It always fell to the bottom before. It is now the highest priority.”
Another notable difference, officials say the data the FBI collects will be shared with the public in real time instead of simply collecting that information and releasing it at the end of the year.