As the election spotlight remains firmly focused on the troubling state of police brutality in the United States for many voters, the issue is inspiring refreshingly direct responses from some candidates. Bernie Sanders, a very public proponent of drastic police reform, told the Guardian earlier this week that he not only supported such reform but also the implementation of a mandatory national database for all police-related deaths.
"When individuals die under police apprehension or police custody, should [reporting that] be mandatory?" Sanders posited during a press conference on Wednesday. "Yes. I do believe that." Sanders added, after being questioned by the Guardian, that he would also support any legislation seeking to make this a reality:
Of course, the Vermont Senator's stance on combating the prevalence of American police brutality has been a crucial component of his campaign platform since he first announced his White House intentions. "At the federal level we need to establish a new model police training program that reorients the way we do law enforcement in this country," Sanders said in August when revealing his own plan for reform. "With input from a broad segment of the community including activists and leaders from organizations like Black Lives Matter, we will reinvent how we police America."
Though this proposed national database has continued to garner a baffling number of opponents, publications like the Guardian have already implemented their own tracking method for police-related deaths in America. At the time of publication, the Guardian's The Counted project reports that 158 people have been killed by police in 2016 alone.