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Government/Politics

A New Texas Law Sets Up Police Shooting Database

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Ryan E. Poppe
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A bill signed into law this week requires all police agencies operating in Texas to submit an account with the state attorney general of any police shooting.  

The bill’s author, Dallas Democratic Rep. Eric Johnson says he got the idea following the police shooting of an unarmed black man in Ferguson, Missouri as well as others happening around that time.

Cut “It made me look into the issue more from a policy standpoint wondering what we can do as policymakers to make sure we don’t have incidents like that in Texas, and I realized there’s no data,” Johnson said.

Not only was there no data, but there was no law requiring police departments submit that information.

The new law tracks where these shootings have taken place in the state, what was the race of the person shot and then makes that information available through the Texas Attorney General’s website.

“It’s statistical and demographic-type information that when you aggregate it across a state that is as huge as Texas you’re going to be able to get a good picture of what’s going on statewide and where the trends are statewide,” Johnson explained.

The new law also requires the Attorney General to put together an annual report analyzing all police shootings that have occurred in a given year.

Starting September 1st, anytime a police officer shoots a person or they themselves are shot, the shooting must be submitted to the State Attorney General within 30-days.