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CRIME AND CRIMINALS: MURDER HOMICIDE :

POLICE BRUTALITY :

STATISTICS :

VALIDITY:

Databases Vastly Underreport Police Homicides

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Databases Vastly Underreport Police Homicides

But a CDC database that began in 2003 may help solve that problem.

NATHAN COLLINS

March 17, 2016

Pacific Standard

http://www.psmag.com/politics-and-law/ databases-vastly-underreport-police-homicides

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A shorter URL for the above link:

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http://tinyurl.com/zwu3o4e

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Police homicides are drastically underreported in the most-used statistical databases. Fortunately, there exists a better alternative, public-health researchers report today in the American Journal of Public Healtha national system that’s been in place since 2003, and that, as of last year, 32 states participate in.

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“Recent media attention to the killings of civilians by police has given rise to a national conversation on the use of lethal force by law enforcement: when it is justified and how best to reduce its use while ensuring the greatest possible safety to police,” writes a team of public-health researchers led by Harvard University School of Public Health’s Catherine Barber.

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Unfortunately, two main sources of data on police killingsthe Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Supplementary Homicide Reports, part of its voluntary Uniform Crime Reporting system, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Vital Statistics databasegrossly underreport the numbers, sometimes because reports simply fail to mention police involvement. For researchers, that makes it difficult to understand who police are killing, why it’s happening, and what could be done to reduce deaths.

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On average, police killed 0.24 people per 100,000 every year.

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On the other hand, a CDC initiative that began with just six states in 2003called the National Violent Death Reporting Systemoffers some hope. NVDRS draws on both police reports and a death certificate or coroner’s report for each violent death, and it includes two brief narratives based on those reports, along with a simple “type of death” indicatorhomicide, suicide, or accident, for example. But how good is that indicator?

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The complete article may be read at the URL above.

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Sincerely,
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Temple University
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jwne@temple.edu
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