GBD Study | Co-First Author on Police Violence in the United States (1980-2018) - Part 1

Published September 30, 2021

Video transcript: In IHME’s recent paper on fatal police violence by race, ethnicity, and state in the United States, we found that there were more than 30,000 deaths by police violence between 1980 and 2018. Of these deaths, 55% went unreported by the National Vital Statistics System, which is the vital registration system for the US and the primary data collection agency for deaths in the US. The causes of underreporting vary. Several are that medical examiners and coroners are often embedded within police departments, leading to conflicts of interest as they’re expected to report on the violence of the departments they may be embedded within. Additionally, there is a lack of training and standardization for doctors and medical examiners on how to fill in death certificates. This leads to misclassification of police violence as homicide or suicide most commonly.