The director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation said Wednesday that the lack of government data on police shootings is “embarrassing” and “ridiculous.”
“It is unacceptable that The Washington Post and the Guardian newspaper from the U.K. are becoming the lead source of information about violent encounters between police and civilians,” director James Comey said at a gathering of more than 100 politicians and law enforcement officials, the Washington Post reports.
“You can get online today and figure out how many tickets were sold to ‘The Martian,’ which I saw this weekend. . . . The CDC can do the same with the flu,” Comey said. “It’s ridiculous — it’s embarrassing and ridiculous — that we can’t talk about crime in the same way, especially in the high-stakes incidents when your officers have to use force.”
The lack of official data on police shootings leaves law enforcement officials unable to place high profile cases in the context of larger trends. According to the Washington Post’s tally, which Comey cited in his comments, 758 people have been shot and killed by police in the U.S. so far in 2015.