|If a bigot like Donald Trump gets elected president he'd probably keep Loretta Lynch as his attorney general.|
Illustration by DonkeyHotey.
By Ciara McCarthy
Attorney general Loretta Lynch says the federal government should not require police to report fatal shootings of civilians, sharply diverging from her predecessor Eric Holder’s stance on police killings.
RELATED STORY: Loretta Lynch is Condoleeza Rice With A Law DegreeIn a conversation with NBC journalist Chuck Todd on a range of criminal justice issues, Lynch said on Thursday that she does not support a federal mandate to report people killed by police.
“One of the things we are focusing on at the Department of Justice is not trying to reach down from Washington and dictate to every local department how they should handle the minutia of record keeping, but we are stressing to them that these records must be kept,” she said at the Washington Ideas Forum, hosted by AtlanticLIVE and the Aspen Institute.
“The statistics are important, but the real issues are: ‘what steps are we all taking to connect communities … with police and back with government?’” she said.
Todd pressed Lynch to comment on the lack of data, citing The Counted, the Guardian’s project to track all deaths by police in 2015, as the best source for fatal interactions with police.
“I’m not going to comment on news organizations keeping numbers,” Lynch said in response. “I think they do a pretty good job sometimes.”
Lynch’s statements show a sharp contrast from her predecessor’s position on tracking police violence. Holder, the former attorney general who left office in April, has called the lack of official data “unacceptable”. Before leaving office he called its collection the “first step” toward improving police-community relations.