This week, Democratic presidential hopeful and former San Antonio mayor Julián Castro unveiled his plan to reform police departments across the nation.
His “People First Policing” plan aims to end over-aggressive policing, combat racially discriminatory policing, and establish a method of accountability for police.
The proposal would set up dozens of reforms. Among them, restricting the use of deadly force unless police are involved in a life-threatening situation, putting an end to racist policies like stop-and-frisk, and issuing racial/anti-bias training for authorities.
But the plan also includes several unique initiatives for police reform that have yet to be seen on a presidential stage. One of the most interesting aspects of Castro’s reform plan includes a heavy focus on policing data.
Castro’s plan calls for a “public national database that tracks all police officers decertified in any state or locality” in order to “ensure full transparency of officers when seeking employment in other states.”
Hopefully, that would prevent problematic officers with a history of violent policing from being hired without the public knowing about it.
The reforms also call for collection of data on all detentions, stops, frisks, searches, summons, and arrests in order to better inform police reform moving forward.
In 2019 so far, 390 people have been shot and killed by police according to a database maintained by the Washington Post. Last year, police killed 992 people. Studies have shown that when police use force, a disproportionate number of the victims are Black— especially in situations where authorities are under no threat.
Fernando covers Texas politics and government at the Texas Signal. Before joining the Signal, Fernando spent two years at the Houston Chronicle and previously interned at Houston’s NPR station News 88.7. He is a graduate of the University of Houston, Jack J. Valenti School of Communication, and enjoys reading, highlighting things, and arguing on social media. You can follow him on Twitter at @fernramirez93 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org