A new study on police violence finds significant under-reporting of fatalities and greater risks for Black Americans

Published September 30, 2021

Figure demonstrating percentage of police violence deaths misclassified in the National Vital Statistics system by race, ethnicity, and state in the USA, 1980-2021

A new study from IHME analyzed data on police violence in the United States from 1980 to 2021 and found over half of deaths from police violence were misclassified or unreported. The researchers also found disproportionately higher rates of death in Black, Hispanic, and Indigenous people.

“Recent high-profile police killings of Black people have drawn worldwide attention to this urgent public health crisis, but the magnitude of this problem can’t be fully understood without reliable data," says co-lead author Fablina Sharara.

Press Release

The Lancet: More than half of police killings in USA are unreported and Black Americans are most likely to experience fatal police violence

Research Article

Fatal police violence by race and state in the USA, 1980-2019: a network meta-regression


Global Burden of Disease Study 2019 (GBD 2019) United States Fatal Police Violence by Race and State 1980-2019

Think Global Health Post

Ending Police Violence in America


Eve Wool, Co-First Author, IHME (Transcription available, as well as a second video)

Mohsen Naghavi, Senior Author, IHME (Transcription available)

Alexes Harris, Professor, Department of Sociology, University of Washington (Transcription available)

Edwin Lindo, Assistant Dean for Social & Health Justice, School of Medicine, University of Washington (Transcription available)

News Coverage

The New York Times |  More Than Half Of Police Killings Are Undercounted, New Study Says

The Washington Post | Killings By Police Are Undercounted By More Than Half, New Study Says

NPR | More Than 17,000 Deaths Caused By Police Have Been Misclassified Since 1980

Reuters |  Most U.S. Deaths From Police Violence Unrecorded In Main Database- Study

Forbes |Study: U.S. Police Killings Have Increased Since 1980 — And Black Americans Face The Highest Risk Of Death

Quartz | Official US Data On Police Violence Missed Half The Killings Of The Past 40 Years 

The Daily Beast | Feds Failed To Count 17,000 Police Killings Since 1980: Study

USA Today | Study: Police Kill More People In This State Than Any Other. And Many Deaths Go Unreported.

CNN | Federal Database Undercounts Deaths Caused By Police, According To Researchers

MSNBC | Medical Examiners Have Undercounted Thousands Of Police Killings, Study Finds 

The Hill | Bombshell Report Says Over 50% Of Police Killings Are Not Reported Or Wrongly Classified

Axios | Study: Police Killings Are Mislabeled In Federal Data By More Than 55%