There is a national data gap on police officer use of deadly force, and officer-involved shootings because there is no mandatory reporting policy at the national level to capture information about these incidents. While Texas law already requires law enforcement agencies to report information on a number of different types of incidents to the state, including in-custody deaths, it does not require law enforcement agencies to provide statistics on police officer shootings. This means there is limited information for local police to address these issues and no aggregate data for policymakers, researchers, and law enforcement agencies to analyze in order to better understand and address possible trends or issues.
Representative Johnson has proposed legislation to increase transparency by requiring law enforcement agencies to report information on officer-involved shootings to the Office of the Attorney General and making this report available to the public so that the data gathered informs research and future policy. One of the biggest things that sets this law apart from other state approaches is the parallel reporting system that tracks incidents in which a civilian shoots a police officer in the course of duty. Additionally, unlike the majority of other state laws, the Texas reporting requirement has a strict reporting timeline for each incident to ensure that the data is gathered and reported in a timely fashion. Finally, keeping track of police officer shooting statistics can help increase transparency and maintain public trust in police officer agencies