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Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Less than half of U.S. police homicides reported

Do not use without permission.
Blue lights in a parking lot signal a police event that could turn deadly,
possibly ending in a homicide not being reported to the public.
Statistics can prove whatever you want them to, but looking at those published by the Justice Department could shine the light on law enforcement.

The U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) conducts an Arrest-Related Deaths (ARD) Program, collecting information on civilian deaths that were attributed to events that occurred during an interaction with state or local law enforcement personnel.

"...ARD program captured, at best, 49% of all law enforcement homicides in the United States," the report stated. BJS uses the term "arrest-related" to capture civilian deaths that occurred prior to, during, or following an arrest event or noncriminal incident and that were attributed to -
  • any use-of-force by state or local law enforcement
  • injuries sustained while attempting to elude law enforcement or injuries incurred while in custody
  • self-imposed events, such as suicides, accidents caused by the decedent, and intoxication
  • medical conditions or illness.
"We found considerable variability between states in the proportion of law enforcement homicides that are reported..." The latest report was released this month. (, and the form used to report the statistics is at:

 BJS also releases data on perception of people during traffic stops.
To comply with the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994 the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) and National Institute of Justice (NIJ) developed the Police Public Contact Survey (PPCS).  The PPCS is a national survey designed to understand the nature and characteristics of citizen contacts with the police. Data are collected from a nationally representative survey of nearly 90,000 residents age 16 or older, and include information on face-to-face contacts with the police including traffic stops, arrests, handcuffing and incidents of police use-of-force.   BJS plans to conduct the next PPCS in 2015.

"Black drivers (13 percent) were more likely than white (10 percent) and Hispanic (10 percent) drivers to be pulled over by police in a traffic stop," according to the latest statistics compiled by the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics.

"Among those involved in street or traffic stops, blacks were less likely than whites and Hispanics to believe the police behaved properly during the encounter," the release stated.

The information was released by Kara McCarthy with the help of Matthew Durose and Lynn Langton, Ph.D. on September 24, 2013 based on interviews with citizens conducted in 2011.
(Look at questionnaire at

The FBI’s Supplementary Homicide Reporting Program (SHR) annually reports on data collected through the Uniform Crime Reporting Program. A justifiable homicide is defined as the willful killing of a felon by 1) a peace officer in the line of duty; or 2) by a private citizen during the commission of a felony.

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