AG’s office: “only a repository” for officer-involved shooting reports

Update: Ana Rodriguez, the deputy chief of staff for bill-author Rep. Eric Johnson, said the legislation was not intended to make the AG’s office the “fact-checkers” for the reports, but instead to host the information online so it would be available for others.

The Parker County issue “reflects reflects an adjustment period as law enforcement agencies figure out how they’re supposed to report these cases,” she wrote, adding she will work with the AG’s office as the process is fine-tuned.

Previous post: Don’t expect the Texas Attorney General’s office to ensure that police agencies are reporting officer-involved shootings in accordance with a new state law.

When asked if the office was reviewing the reports – including one that appears to have been incorrectly completed – Cynthia Meyer, a spokeswoman with the AG’s office, said, “By law, the Texas Attorney General’s Office is only a repository for this information.”

I’m keeping a database of the reports, which departments so far have filed on 14 shootings, five of which were fatal. After noticing that the Parker County Sheriff’s Office filed one report for an incident in which two officers killed a man – while other departments have filed separate reports for each officer involved – I contacted the report’s author to clarify. My email was forwarded to PIO Danie Huffman, who told me Tuesday hat my query was “at the very bottom” of her to-do list.

I also asked the AG’s office if they were checking the reports for accuracy or to ensure departments were following the new state law, which states in part that the report shall include “the age, gender and race or ethnicity of each peace officer involved in the incident.”

It also requires departments to file a report within five days of the shooting, and directs the AG’s office to post the report online within five days of receiving it. Several reports have been submitted long after the five-day mark – including one filed Tuesday on a shooting 30 days earlier.

Texas officer-involved shooting reports now online

Four people have been shot and injured by Texas police since Sept. 1, when a new state law requiring departments to report such incidents to the Attorney General went into effect. AGSeal

HB 1036 requires the reports to be submitted within 30 days of an incident, and directs the AG’s office to post reports online within five days of receiving them.

The reports detail demographic and other basic information about incidents, which I then used to create a database. In half of the shootings, the person shot had a weapon. Three of the injured people were men and one woman was shot during a call for a vicious dog.