Cummings, Conyers, and Thompson Lead 53 Members In Urging President to Request Full Funding of National Violent Death Reporting System
Cummings, Conyers, and Thompson Lead 53 Members
In Urging President to Request Full Funding
of National Violent Death Reporting System
Washington, D.C. (Jan. 26, 2015)—Today, Reps. Elijah E. Cummings, John J. Conyers Jr., and Bennie G. Thompson, Ranking Members of the House Committees on Oversight and Government Reform, the Judiciary, and Homeland Security respectively, and 53 additional Members sent a letter to President Obama asking that he renew the request he made in last year’s budget proposal to fully fund the National Violent Death Reporting System (NVDRS), which is operated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). NVDRS provides states and communities with funding to track the causes of violent deaths, including those resulting from “legal intervention” by law enforcement authorities. The NVDRS also tracks the race of victims, the causes of injuries, and the relationship of victims to their suspected killers.
In the letter, the Members raised concerns about what NVDRS data has already revealed. Data from the 17 states that are already reporting showed African-Americans were killed at a rate three times higher than their white peers during “legal intervention” by police and others with legal authority to use deadly force. NVDRS data also showed that “Hispanic-Americans” were disproportionately more likely to die as a result of being injured by law enforcement officers.
“These disparities are alarming and unacceptable for a country that holds ‘equal justice under law’ as a core ideal,” the Members wrote. “The lack of comprehensive federal data regarding the number of Americans killed during police encounters also presents a significant challenge for elected officials and citizens interested in providing better training and resources for law enforcement officers.”
The Members’ request for full funding would enable NVDRS to increase its collection and reporting of data on violent police encounters from 32 states to all 50 states and the District of Columbia; ensure that NVDRS data supports violence prevention activities by working with states to produce standard analyses on a range of topics; and link NVDRS data with other data sources, such as child fatality review reports and adult protective services reports.
Click here to read the full letter.