Police Abuse

Half of All Killings by Police Are Not Reported to the Federal Government By the States

Even though states are required to submit such data, the feds have yet to punish states that fail to comply.



Over the past three years, the federal government's lack of a nationwide database for shootings by police has received ever-increasing attention. Several media outlets have taken it upon themselves to create such databases, with The Washington Post winning a Pulitzer Prize for its efforts last year.

Even though FBI Director James Comey concedes that it is "embarrassing and ridiculous" that such data is not required to be submitted by local police agencies to the federal government, the feds have long claimed to be hamstrung by policies that only call for voluntary reporting of police shootings to the FBI.

But the Justice Department's Arrest Related Death (ARD) program already requires states to submit data on officer-involved killings of civilians. According to a report in The Daily Beast by Justin Glawe, this program remains woefully under-reported:

Several states and the District of Columbia have not reported any data on arrest-related deaths despite being required to do so by law. According to the Justice Department, from 2003 to 2011, Arkansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Wisconsin, and Wyoming have, in several of those years, not reported to the program. Georgia has never reported to the program.

Because of this under-reporting, the federal government has failed to track almost half of all officer-involved killings during that eight-year period. More accurate numbers began to be compiled by 2009, when the Justice Department started scouring the internet for media reports of killings by police that were not reported by the states.

There's a strange gulf between "voluntary" and "mandatory" at place here. Though states are required to submit this data to the feds, the Justice Department's Bureau of Justice Statistics complained in its report on the ARD that they were frustrated in their efforts by the "methodological limitations" caused by voluntary reporting from the states.

The Death In Custody Reporting Act, reauthorized in 2014, authorizes the Attorney General to cut up to 10 percent of federal law enforcement grant funding to states that fail to comply with such reporting, but as Glawe writes, "There is no indication that this punishment mechanism has ever been implemented."

NEXT: Norwegian Black Metal Artist Elected to Local Office Against His Will

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Everyone knows the worst part of executing a citizen is the paperwork.

    1. Second worst is the emotional damage a Brother In Blue undergoes when some puny goddamn civilians find out about said execution and make, like, a big deal out of it.

      1. We’re preventing them from keeping us safe.

  2. Hit them where it hurts and take away all their tacticool military toys.

    1. Pensions, get those pensions

    2. And leave them vulnerable to the thousands of daily terrorist attacks that would surely plague our cities without that program? How dare you, good sir.

    3. Yeah but without grenade launchers and APCs, how can cops feel safe to refuse to work at sporting events in protest of players who hate America, but still clock in and collect overtime for it?

      1. They should have had guards on the field protecting the Rams last night.

        1. If the LAPD were was worth a tinker’s damn it would have been able to keep the NFL from coming back to LA in the first place.

          1. What is LA without the NFL? Just a bunch of murals of Edward James Olmos, I suspect.

            1. Oil wells clumsily hidden inside of windowless urban buildings.

            2. How do I reach these KEEEEEEEEEEEDS

        2. Getting mugged on the mean streets of Santa Clara must be kind of embarrassing.

  3. Several states and the District of Columbia have not reported any data on arrest-related deaths despite being required to do so by law.

    Who wrote a law that they thought they could enforce against law enforcement?

    1. Who then shall enforce the enforcers?

      1. Just tie the murder-stat delivery with any pertinent Federal funds, like, say with Title IX, and problem solved.

  4. Half of All Killings by Police are Not Reported to the Federal Government by the States

    So take the number you do have and double it. Do I have to think of everything? And if you have to attribute them to a particular police department, just assume they came out of Albuquerque.

  5. Next time you need a cop call a fucking hippie instead.

    1. Somebody used the “next time you need a cop, call a crackhead!” line on me the other day. They weren’t kidding around or being ironic.

      1. You see it all the time in the cop and copsucker infested waters of local newspaper comments.

        It’s sort of like “Bushitler” or “Block Yo Momma,” idiots are really convinced that repeating that line makes it somehow more clever and therefore correct.

      2. Christ. A crackhead will jump through hoops for what he wants. With proper incentives, you could keep that fuck on point.

        1. Gimme a budget of, oh, $300 and I could fire up a whole damn posse of crackheads for a day or two.

          1. “I have a 20 rock for the first person that brings in this fugitive!”

            “I have this glorious copper pipe with 2 rocks for the person who finds this stolen car!”

            1. glorious copper pipe

              Band name?

              /I say, yes.

            2. I made a glorious copper pipe on a lathe in metals class in high school. My shop teacher was an ex hippie who liked the fact I owned a few Pink Floyd shirts.

              While making the pipe my teacher suggested I add a rubber gaurd at the end to prevent my lips from being burnt….he gave me an A.

              Hello from vacation. Bbq, beer and beautiful coast line. OneOut, if you see this I hit Killen’s tomorrow.

              1. Just don’t get there late – I hear the line can be brutal.

                1. I’ll have a stand umbrella, a sturdy fold up lawn chair and a sixer of Hofbrau Oktoberfest set up and ready for the wait by 9am. The beef rib was recommended so I hope they still have a few on hand by the time I get in my order.

                  1. I sure as Hell hope a six pack is permissible while waiting. If not, I’ll be pretty disappointed in Texas.

          2. Just don’t go trading rock for severed trigger fingers. The Patriot Enabling Act of 1933 would come down around everyone’s ears in a Natzweiler-Struthof minute.

    2. What’s your phone number?

      J/K (Larfs o L)

    3. I can’t think of one single reason to Ever call the cops. No good can come from it and they sure can make things worse. I’ll never need an innocent person or dog killed.
      I read that in Illinois, a law was passed that requires students in drivers ed to be taught to fear police so there may be less of a chance they’ll be beaten, tased or killed during a traffic stop.

  6. How do you know it’s only half? We’re taking media reports as an accurate count? I’d assume media reports account for a tiny percentage.

  7. So my local bank reports transactions over $10k to the feds dozens of times a day, but my local police department doesn’t have to report it when they commit a homicide?

    Seems legit.

    1. There may be something wrong with the money you put in a bank.

    2. They are supposed to report “only” cash transactions of more than $10K. In practice, however, banks likely report every “out of character” transaction over $10K in a suspicious activity report because God forbid something illegal is done with that money and the bank didn’t report it.

      That $10K reporting requirement is so arbitrary as to be completely ridiculous. The requirement was established back in the mid-1980s, of course it wasn’t indexed to inflation, and hasn’t gone up a penny since then. So every year it just vacuums in more and more less-valuable transactions.

      1. Feature, not bug. See AMT also.

  8. I will take a knee during the National Anthem until this is corrected.

    1. Is that still a thing?

    2. Whose knee? And why do you keep stealing it?

      1. Keenan Allen’s apparently.

    3. “O I got all my stuff back / Cops are pigs again, cops are pigs”

  9. Good old fucking fascist rotten to the core deserving on every possible calamity Louisiana, just exactly where I would expect to find you.

  10. OK, I get why we should be concerned about killings by police. What I don’t get is why we should want to help the Federal Government meddle locally. They won’t get it right, any policy the put forward is likely to be three parts Progressive Leftist Drivel to one part bureauweenie idiocy.

    1. Because there’s no one else that can make them give up the information.

      1. Well, Warty could – but he is probably too busy lifting, building Skynet, playing with his spawn and kitteh.

      2. So, don’t make a law thT forces them to report to DC. Make a law that forces them to make the information PUBLIC.

    2. As SugarFree said.

      Reporters can try to get this info I’m willing to bet many of these not-sharing states exempt this sort of information from Blue Sky laws because “War on Cops”; and even for those states for which this information is subject to Blue Sky, I’m willing to bet a lawsuit is required to get anything useful.

      Also, local police departments are subject to the US Constitution when it comes to treating arrestees. It makes sense that a federal-level agency will be a clearinghouse for information like this, especially since it oftentimes falls to the US Department of Justice to come in and force abusive police departments to reform (as local and state prosecutors are unwilling to for usually-political reasons).

    3. Hmmm… letting the feds play meddlesome game warden in the troopers havin’ fun might also establish precedent for moving the Federal-State Prohibitionist Asset Forfeiture Sharing Program back to the front burner in time for another financial and economic Panic, Crash and Depression right before elections. It’s a tempting proposition…

  11. http://m.huffpost.com/us/entry/10425968

    Huffingtonpost keeps things classy and erudite.

    1. Well, in the author’s defense, he is referred to as an “artist, writer, and musician.”

    2. They flayed him alive in the comments.


    4. And god damn [Bernie] has some amazing ideas that would totally revolutionize American culture, economics and our society in general

      Yes, in a Pol Pot kind of way, sure.

    5. “I’ll vote for ___________ so & so who isn’t going to become president but it’s cute you voted for them one time because of your principles.” It’s bullshit. And to be frank, how fucking dare you.

      Stopped reading.

  12. So I have to tell the feds — to the dollar — how much money I make in a year, but police don’t have to tell the feds when they kill somebody. Got it.

    1. It’s an interesting revelation of their real priorities, isn’t it?

    2. you win this comments

  13. OT: my god, is Congress in danger of — gasp — actually doing its job and exercising its rights over the FBI???

    “A powerful Republican lawmaker abruptly stopped a hearing Monday on Capitol Hill to serve a subpoena demanding the FBI’s full investigative file on the Hillary Clinton email probe to a top official, telling the man “you are hereby served.””


    1. Comey told bureau employees in an internal memo that it wasn’t a close call.

      Of course not. Comey isn’t stupid as to what his masters wanted and what he needed to provide to ensure continued employment in the FBI and his future career.

    2. Big deal, what are they going to do when the FBI ignores it?

      1. They’ll stall until the election. If Trump wins, it’s pretty irrelevant and the GOP will relent. If Clinton wins, Chaffetz might get mugged in backcountry Utah or something totally expected like that.

  14. Like the Feds are going to do anything that might actually protect liberty.

    The premise of this article is not merely flawed, it is downright dangerous.

    1. The proper solutions to the problems of government are not ever more layers of government, nor ever more centralization of government.

  15. I’m making over $9k a month working part time. I kept hearing other people tell me how much money they can make online so I decided to look into it. Well, it was all true and has totally changed my life. This is what I do…. Go to tech tab for work detail..

    CLICK THIS LINK===?????>> http://www.earnmax6.com/

  16. I am making $89/hour working from home. I never thought that it was legitimate but my best friend is earning $10 thousand a month by working online, that was really surprising for me, she recommended me to try it. just try it out on the following website.

    ??? http://www.NetNote70.com

  17. “The Arrest-Related Deaths (ARD) program is an annual national census of persons who die either during the process of arrest or while in the custody of state or local law enforcement personnel. ”

    Maybe the police are not reporting them because they were killed before they were arrested?

    1. Interesting point. Would such gratuitous extrajudicial murders even count toward the local bag limit?
      Perhaps a variant on the Cheech & Chong defense might help:

      It seems, Yeronner, that my Union-brother client simply FOUND those dead bodies on the sidewalk and was on his way to report to the authorities…

  18. This should not be surprising. It’s scary to know that if police shoot someone in an illegal manner that you are more likely to be struck by lightning than to see justice be served.

  19. Next time the some some Pulpit Prohibitionist wrings a hankie in angst over how These States are shunning the Federal Gubmint’s Merry-jew-wanna Prohibition Laws, it might be apropos to segue to questions about modern-day dry killers. The Chicago Tribune never passed up a chance to expose dry killers and their mock trials to scrupulous publicity back when religious conservatives had made light beer a felony. Hundreds to thousands were murdered by officers and other officious zealots, depending on your sources. However, Americans, lustily returned fire back in those days, so some justice was nonetheless meted out.

    1. Next time the some some Cosmotarian celebrates the libertarian moment over how These States are only able to shun the Federal Gubmint’s Merry-jew-wanna Prohibition Laws because the Federal Gubmint has selectively chosen to turn a blind eye to this one issue, it might be apropos to segue to questions about the limits of Federalism and how ignoring one set of laws is ok, but ignoring another set of Federal diktats is sooo problematic.

  20. I guess if one is a Libertarian, he can prove a negative, especially is he hates cops.

  21. my father in-law recently purchased a real nice Lincoln MKZ Sedan by working part time off of a pc online. have a peek at this website

    ?????? http://www.businessbay4.com/

  22. my friend’s aunt makes $82 /hour on the computer . She has been without a job for 8 months but last month her paycheck was $17576 just working on the computer for a few hours. look at this site

    ?????? http://www.businessbay4.com/

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.