Statistics lacking in debate over police behavior

Dec 7, 2014 11:13 AM by News Staff

The deadly police encounters in Missouri, Ohio, South Carolina and New York may make it feel like there's a tidal wave of cases sweeping the country. But there are no firm statistics to say whether they're part of a growing trend or simply a series of coincidences generating a deafening buzz in news reports and social media.

The FBI's Uniform Crime Reports track justifiable police homicides but the statistics rely on voluntary reporting are incomplete. Circumstances of the deaths and information such as age and race aren't required.

Samuel Walker is an emeritus professor of criminal justice at the University of Nebraska at Omaha and a leading scholar on policing and civil liberties. He says it's "outrageous" there's no accurate count of the people who die in police custody.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.


Most Popular