LOS ANGELES (AP) — More than 150 people died during encounters with California police last year, the state attorney general's office said Thursday.
The report by Attorney General Xavier Becerra (HAH-vee-air Bah-sehr'-ah) marks the first time California has released data on police use of force encompassing all 800 of the state's police departments. The data includes the race of the officer and the civilian, as well as the police officer's justification for use of force.
California police officers used force resulting in serious injury or death in 782 incidents in 2016, the report said. Authorities reported that 157 people had died during police encounters and 531 people were injured.
Forty-two percent of civilians who were involved in the incidents were Hispanic and nearly 20 percent were black. More than 50 percent of the officers involved in use of force incidents were white, according to the report.
The times officers used force represent a tiny fraction of the millions of police encounters in the state of nearly 40 million people.
"In California, we strive to improve public trust between law enforcement agencies and the communities they are sworn to protect by opening lines of communication," Becerra said in a statement. "A necessary part of the discussion is knowing the facts and having the data to inform the creation of effective plans to advance sound criminal justice policies.
Departments are now required to report any use of force that causes "serious injuries" under a proposal passed by lawmakers and implemented by former Attorney General Kamala Harris. Though some departments already tracked such data on their own, many did not.
Few other states collect such comprehensive data. Texas requires the attorney general to track statistics on officer-caused and officer-sustained injuries and death, Colorado requires every police shooting be reported and Connecticut tracks every incident of serious force, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.