Death by Cop: New University Study Tabulates the Data

FAULogoA new study by researchers at Florida Atlantic University and the Baylor College of Medicine found that between 1999 and 2013, 5,511 people were killed by law enforcement officers in the line of duty. In 2013, there were 480 deaths in such incidents. Over the period the most deaths in incidents involving law enforcement officers was 507 in 2012. The lowest yearly number was 279 in 2000.

Baylor_College_of_Medicine_LogoThe data showed that 96 percent of the people killed by law enforcement officers were men. Death rates for African American men were significantly higher than the rate for White men.

The report also broke down the data by state and metropolitan region. The highest death rate for Black men in incidents involving law enforcement was in Nevada. The lowest rate was in North Carolina. In the rankings for metropolitan areas, Riverside County, California, had the highest rate for Black men while Kings County, New York (Brooklyn) had the lowest rate.

Joanna Drowos, associate chair of the department of integrated biomedical science in the College of Medicine at Florida Atlantic University and the lead author of the study, said that “these large differences by person, place, and time suggest the need for further research, and may provide an opportunity for community leaders and policy makers to exert collaborative efforts to reduce mortality from legal intervention.”

The study, “Variations in Mortality From Legal Intervention in the United States — 1999 to 2013,” was published in the December 2015 issue of the journal Preventive Medicine. It may be accessed here.

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