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Virginia bill seeks to track officer-involved shootings

Sen. Mark D. Obenshain, R-Rockingham, center, papers in hand, chairman of the Senate Courts of Justice committee, conducts a meeting of the committee on the Senate floor during a recess of the Virginia Senate at the State Capitol  in Richmond, Va., Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2016. During the meeting, Sen. L. Louise Lucas, D-Portsmouth, white hair , second from left, voted with Republicans for Judge Rossie Alston for the Virginia Supreme Court. Sen. Glen H. Sturtevant, R-Richmond, right, had been holding out for Supreme Court Justice Jane Marum Roush to be reappointed. Lucas today joined Republicans in a committee vote to support Alston's candidacy for the state Supreme Court in exchange for the elevation of her mentor and friend, Portsmouth Circuit Court Judge Kenneth Melvin, to the Court of Appeals. Melvin was a member of the House of Delegates from 1985 to 2009. (Bob Brown/Richmond Times-Dispatch via AP)

Sen. Mark D. Obenshain, R-Rockingham, center, papers in hand, chairman of the Senate Courts of Justice committee, conducts a meeting of the committee on the Senate floor during a recess of the Virginia Senate at the State Capitol in Richmond, Va., Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2016. During the meeting, Sen. L. Louise Lucas, D-Portsmouth, white hair , second from left, voted with Republicans for Judge Rossie Alston for the Virginia Supreme Court. Sen. Glen H. Sturtevant, R-Richmond, right, had been holding out for Supreme Court Justice Jane Marum Roush to be reappointed. Lucas today joined Republicans in a committee vote to support Alston’s candidacy for the state Supreme Court in exchange for the elevation of her mentor and friend, Portsmouth Circuit Court Judge Kenneth Melvin, to the Court of Appeals. Melvin was a member of the House of Delegates from 1985 to 2009. (Bob Brown/Richmond Times-Dispatch via AP)

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — A Virginia legislative panel has approved a bill to include statistics on officer-involved shootings in the state’s annual crime report.

The Virginian-Pilot reports (bit.ly/1TwSitn) that the Senate Courts of Justice Committee unanimously endorsed Democratic Del. Charniele Herring’s bill on Monday. The bill already won unanimous approval in the House and heads to the Senate.

Herring said she believes it’s important for the public to know if there are officer-involved shootings and whether they were justified.

Lt. Tom Bradshaw, legislative liaison for Virginia State Police, told lawmakers that the FBI has requested this information and that some jurisdictions don’t typically report such shootings.

The committee amended the bill to ensure the crime report also shows whether an officer-involved shooting was justified.

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Information from: The Virginian-Pilot, http://pilotonline.com

 

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