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East Lansing Police Oversight Commission releases 2022 report, focuses on use of force

 east lansing city hall
City of East Lansing

The East Lansing Police Oversight Commission says it wants to work with the city’s police department to improve data collection around use of force incidents by officers.

The commission presented its annual report to the City Council on Tuesday with several recommendations for the Council, the police department and the commission itself to adopt.

The document reviewed racial disparities in policing and specific incidents in which officers applied force. That includedthe officer involved-shooting in a Meijer parking lot last year.

The report found flaws in the police department’s overall approach to tracking use of force. It states the department could have inaccurate counts for the type of force used and number of people involved because it simplifies data collection around tracking incidents.

The commission cites one instance where a use of force report stated four officers involved in an incident used three types of force (taser display, handgun display, less lethal display). But narrative reports indicate that data is inaccurate.

Oversight Commission member Chris Root says the current reporting method doesn’t take into account other important factors.

“When you try to actually make sentences out of the numbers, it's about people and officers and incidents, it's not all about incidents," Root said. "That leaves out people.”

The report's recommendations aligned with several suggestions from an external review of ELPD.

The commission is recommending it work with the ELPD to improve data collection and inform future oversight reforms. The commission set a goal for the department to institute changes to its data management by next year.

Arjun Thakkar is WKAR's politics and civics reporter.
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