Coalition Calls on Congress to Support Policing Transparency through PRIDE Act – October 20, 2015 Newsletter

– Updates on Coalition Partners & Others (more)
– Coalition Partner Events (more)
– Coalition Calls on Congress to Support Policing Transparency through PRIDE Act (more

Updates from Coalition Partners & Others:

Center for Public Integrity reporting wins award

The American Judges Association honored the Center for its reporting work on two separate investigative projects. One of the awarded projects, “Juris Imprudence,” led to the reopening of several cases by revealing judges’ financial ties and conflicts of interest. The other project, “Juvenile Injustice,” exposed the treatment of special needs kids in the Knox County, Tennessee justice system.

Good Jobs First Corporate Research Project launching Violation Tracker

The Corporate Research Project, a part of Good Jobs First, will launch its new Violation Tracker tool on October 27. The Violation Tracker will catalogue corporate misconduct in health, safety, and environmental cases brought to federal agencies since 2010, as well as case settlements after referral to the Justice Department.

EFF participates in Open Access Week

The Electronic Frontier Foundation joins groups around the world in celebrating Open Access Week, which was organized to promote making research and other materials open to the public. This year’s Open Access Week celebrates the theme of collaboration and the potential for innovative and improved research when information is made open and accessible. Check back with EFF all week for updates and articles on open access.

New leadership for OTG partners

The Government Accountability Project (GAP) has a new Executive Director and CEO in legal expert Anna Myers. Before joining GAP, Myers was Deputy Director at the UK’s leading authority on whistleblowers, Public Concern at Work.

Dr. Michelle Ferrier recently joined Journalism that Matters (JTM) as the group’s new President, following several years of serving on JTM’s Board of Directors. Ferrier is a former newspaper columnist, and has extensive experience in managing digital media.

Coalition Partner Events:

Annual Conference Virginia Coalition for Open Government, November 12

Building a Pathway to Peace Friends Committee on National Legislation, November 12-15

Good Government Tribute Awards Common Cause, November 19

Coalition Calls on Congress to support policing transparency through PRIDE Act

Monday, OTG and 20 other openness groups urged Congress to pass the Police Reporting of Information, Data and Evidence (PRIDE) Act for better reporting on police use of force and officer-involved shootings. At a time when public pressure for comprehensive data on deadly incidents involving law enforcement has reached a high point, the PRIDE Act would provide necessary support to police departments working to collect and report this information.

FBI Director James Comey recently called the Justice Department’s lack of a national record on police-involved shootings “ridiculous” and “embarrassing.” One of the issues identified by Attorney General Loretta Lynch as an impediment to collecting data is the small size of the average police department and lack of resources, which makes record-keeping difficult. The PRIDE Act (S. 1476 and H.R. 3481) addresses this acknowledged problem by making new grants to eligible States and tribal governments to increase capacity and resources – provided the sheriffs and police departments report on officer-related shootings and use of force incidents as required.

Importantly, the bill also calls for the Attorney General, in coordination with the Director of the FBI, to issue guidance on establishing standard data collection systems, including standard and consistent definitions, such as for “use of force.” Standardized definitions combined with data required are imperative to identifying how and where racial bias occurs in police-related use of force incidents – a crucial first step to addressing the issue.

 

Have an update or issue you think we should know about? Send it to emanna@openthegovernment.org

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