My talk provides a broad overview of the research on police use of deadly force – how often it happens, where it happens, and why it happens. I'll also point out the holes in our knowledge due to data constraints. I conclude with a discussion of …
I’ve been screaming this into the void on Twitter lately so I figured I’d pull all my thoughts together in a blog post.
On January 12th, ABC News published a story claiming that fatal police shootings had declined 13% in 2021 “amid calls for reform on use of force.” The story also claimed that Florida saw the biggest decrease in shootings (from 93 to 44).1
At that time, The Washington Post’s (WAPO) database was showing 888 fatal police shootings.
In a forthcoming paper in Criminology & Public Policy, Michael and I conducted an exploratory analysis of fatal and non-fatal firearm assaults on U.S police officers using six years of public data provided by the Gun Violence Archive. We adopted the following inclusion criteria:
Victim was a sworn officer employed by a local, state, or special jurisdiction law enforcement agency that routinely responds to calls for service (i.e., officers employed by town, city, or county agencies, sheriff’s departments, state agencies, tribal police, university police, transit police) Victim was on duty at the time of assault The bullet struck the victim’s person or his/her equipment (excluding vehicle) The bullet came from a real firearm (i.
Yesterday, Andy Wheeler posted a summary of the problems with recent studies about officer-involved shootings, including one my colleagues and I published in February 2017. As usual, Andy’s criticisms were thoughtful and spot on. And I hope I can take him up on that conference beer soon, even though he’s at a new job.
That said, I do want to push back just a little about the motivation for our paper.