Shocking police homicide percentages

I saw that Charles Davis of Vice wrote that the Youth Justice Coalition found that “Each year, from 3 to 8 percent of all homicides are committed by members of the Los Angeles Police Department or the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Office.” Further, they said, “No criminal organization kills as many people as the police.”

Our data falls right in line with the Youth Justice Coalition’s. We don’t have comprehensive data on many states yet, but for those we do, I did the same calculation. Just for fun, I only give partial information for Rhode Island, but I show how to do the math. It’s easy. I wish somebody would figure out where the math is wrong because this stuff kind of freaks me out.

State Total Population Total Police Homicides FBI 1998-2012 FE 2000-2012 Total homicides Total percentage police homicides
Nevada 2.8 million 211 116 193 2226 8.8
New Hampshire 1.3 million 19 3 16 198 8.1
Connecticut 3.6 million 57 19 48 1500 3.2
Massachusetts 6.7 million 83 14 69 2163 3.2
Vermont 600,000 15 4 13 146 8.9
Maine 1.3 million 37 24 34 276 12.3
Rhode Island 1 million 16 14

Here’s how I did it, using Nevada as an example. You can fill in the rest of the data for Rhode Island, if you have a mind to:

Go to the FBI site.
Select Nevada then select Number of Violent Crimes then select years 2000-2012. Add the column Murder and nonnegligent manslaughters. The answer is 2,226.

Then go here, Select Nevada, select Counties “all” then subtract the result from the 212 total killings for years 2014 and 2013; that results in 197 officer-involved killings 2000-2012.

That’s 197/2226×100, which is about 8.8 percent. I suppose it’s possible some of the police killings were included as nonnegligent manslaughters, but if any possible police killings were excluded, the bottom line percentage would increase, wouldn’t it? Feel free to check my math.


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How to research the FBI data