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by Peter Moskos

October 9, 2015

Data on police-involved killings of unarmed civilians

The creators of StreetCred recently brought their work to my attention. They like data. So do I. They're trying to flesh out the situations when police kill an unarmed person. Unarmed does not automatically mean a person isn't a threat. It's interesting that the majority of these cases are not officer initiated but involve police response to a call for service for a crime in progress.

From their study:
Of the 125 incidents in which police killed an unarmed civilian, 25% (31) began on traffic stops, and 65% (81) began as a response to a 911-call about a violent crime (robber, E.g.,[i], carjacking[ii], domestic violence[iii] or assault[iv]) or property crime (burglary[v], car theft[vi] or vandalism[vii]) in progress.

In addition to those, there were nine people (7%) whom 911 callers described as being, “crazy[viii],” or, “on drugs[ix]”, “covered with blood[x]”, and “yelling[xi]”, or threatening people[xii]. Three (2%) were wanted[xiii] fugitives[xiv] in the act of escape[xv] — and one was unarmed when he died but was acting as part of a gang of three who were wanted in a recent homicide and were at the time of the incident in the progress of a kidnapping a woman[xvi].

In all, there were 26 incidents that involved an assault by the unarmed civilian against another civilian before police arrived, and in two cases, the murder of other civilians by the decedent.

1 comment:

Bill Harshaw said...

Framing is important.