published: 10 October 2017
In a revelatory new study published Tuesday, Harvard public health researchers report that in 2015, a total of 1,166 people were killed by police in the United States.
What’s staggering about this research is not just the massive number of police killings it reports — and knowing that many of those police aren’t disciplined, — but the fact that scientists were able to conduct the study at all. Historically, the U.S. government has been unable to provide a full count of people killed by police that has the confidence of federal statisticians.
This new study, published Tuesday in PLoS Medicine, is the first to quantify the undercounting of police-related deaths in both a nationwide death certificate data and in a news media-based database — which makes it the most accurate count the public has to date.
People deserve to know how many people have actually been killed by police, study co-author Justin Feldman tells Inverse. They also deserve to see that information, he adds, in an accurate way from a credible source.