Quantifying underreporting of law-enforcement-related deaths in United States vital statistics and news-media-based data sources: A capture–recapture analysis

Official death certificates in the U.S. failed to count more than half of the people killed by police in 2015 — and the problem of undercounting is especially pronounced in lower-income counties and for deaths that are due to Tasers, according to a study published Oct. 10 in PLoS Medicine.

In contrast, a database from the London-based Guardian newspaper captured a large majority of these deaths, the study found.

The study, published by Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and USC Program on Global Health & Human Rights researchers, is the first to measure undercounting of police-related deaths in nationwide death certificate data and in a news media-based database and provides the most accurate count to date of the number of people killed by police in the U.S.

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Authors: Justin M. Feldman, Sofia Gruskin, Brent A. Coull, Nancy Krieger
Published By: PLoS Medicine
Date: Oct. 10, 2017
Publication Link: http://journals.plos.org/plosmedicine/article?id=10.1371/journal.pmed.1002399