Currently, the Department of Justice does not keep an extensive record on the number of shootings by police officers where someone is killed. That fact has come to attention in the aftermath of the shootings in Ferguson, Missouri and Cleveland, Ohio.
"Before we can truly address the problem of excessive force used by law enforcement we have to understand the nature of the problem and that begins with accurate data," Cohen said in his statement on the legislation.
Cohen's bill would make local police forces send data to the Department of Justice on fatal shootings.
That data would also be available for the public to access. The information included in that data would be the age, ethnicity, gender, and religion of both the police officer and the other person involved in the incident. The alleged crime of the civilian and rationale for why legal force was necessary would also be included.