FBI Director, James Comey spoke to thousands of police officials on Sunday saying the lack of data is leading people to believe that "biased police are killing black men at epidemic rates”.
Comey made his comments at the International Chiefs of Police Conference in San Diego, acknowledging that videos of fatal police encounters are helping feed the frenzy that "something terrible is being done by the police”. He also said that people "actually have no idea if the number of black people or brown people or white people being shot by police is up, down or sideways over the last three years, five years, 10 years".
Comey’s comments come at a time when parts of the nation are restless due to the increasing amount of videos showing law enforcement using deadly force.
"It is a narrative driven by video images of real and gut-wrenching misconduct, by images of possible misconduct, by images of perceived misconduct," Comey added. "It's a narrative given force by the awesome power of human empathy."
One of the recent high-profile cases came after Charlotte police used fatal force on a black man who allegedly appeared to be carrying a gun. This incident incited violent protests after videos of the shooting were released.
The FBI director went on to say, "Our officers see the videos. They desperately do not want to be in one. They think about that all the time”.
Justice Department officials announced last week that the FBI has plans to track the information of police force in a national database.
Comey added, "we need to collect actual, accurate and complete information about policing in this country so that we have informed debates about things that matter enormously.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.