Texas bill that fines police for not reporting shootings rejected, then resurrected

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — The Texas House has reconsidered and passed a bill placing new accountability measures on police departments reporting when an officer kills a civilian.

Lawmakers late Wednesday voted 71-70 against a measure requiring the state attorney general to investigate law enforcement agencies that failed to report officer-related deaths or injuries. But the House subsequently passed a motion to reconsider and approved the bill Thursday in seconds, without debate and few lawmakers paying close attention.

Law enforcement is already required to submit reports about officer-related deaths, but the new bill would impose fines of $10,000 for failure to do so. Agencies would also be fined an additional $1,000 a day for failing to comply.

Data compiled by The Washington Post showed Texas police fatally shot 82 people in 2016.

In 2015, police departments and other law enforcement agencies began submitting new information to the state when officers shoot someone or are shot.

The forms include basic information:

  • Age of the officer in the shooting
  • Race/ethnicity of the officer and the person injured or killed
  • If the person killed or injured carried, showed, or used a deadly weapon
  • Did the officer respond to the request with one or more officers
  • Was the shooting a result of a traffic stop, emergency call, execution of warrant, or other emergency situation