This 2020 Dem Wants a National Database of Police Officers Involved in Shootings | NTK Network This 2020 Dem Wants a National Database of Police Officers Involved in Shootings

This 2020 Dem Wants a National Database of Police Officers Involved in Shootings

Julian Castro isn’t exactly generating excitement on the campaign trail among Democrats, but his police reform plan could be quite controversial.

By NTK Staff | 06.18.2019 @2:15pm
This 2020 Dem Wants a National Database of Police Officers Involved in Shootings

Former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro told The Atlantic that one of his top priorities as president would be to “hold police departments and officers accountable.”

Castro hopes to address issues like excessive use of force and unreported incidents of office misconduct among police officers.

Perhaps most controversially, Castro said he wants to establish a federal database that would track police-involved shootings.

“I would like to see a database of officer-involved shootings, because we don’t have a database right now,” he said. “I don’t believe the public should have to rely on the efforts of journalists across the country, although those are noble efforts. There should be a comprehensive federal database of officer-involved shootings, of use of excessive force, and also, as I said in that plan, the decertification of police officers.”

In the wake of the Black Lives Matter and Blue Lives Matter movements, which became polarizing forces in the 2016 election, Castro’s remarks about tracking police could prove controversial in 2020. However, these issues so far have taken a back seat to health care, immigration, and other topics.

Another plank of Castro’s plan would make it easier for police officers to report on one another.

“I’m talking about using both the carrot and the stick incentives where there are grant programs, and also legislation to ensure that if one officer witnesses another officer engaging in misconduct, that that officer—the witness—is compelled to actually report that,” he said. “Because too often, those types of things go unreported.”

When pressed on whether the federal government can dictate policy for local police departments, Castro doesn’t really answer.

“Well, the way that I approach it is, we will do everything we can under the Constitution to hold police departments and officers accountable,” he said. “And where we need to use incentives [through] our federal grant process, we can use that.”

Given current poll data, it’s highly unlikely Castro will have the opportunity to implement these policies. Castro’s RealClearPolitics national polling average is 1.0 percent.

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