Hundreds of police killings are not included in the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s records on the matter, according to a new report.
More than 550 homicides by police officers between 2007 and 2012 were missing from the federal statistics or not attributed to the law enforcement agency involved, the Wall Street Journal reported.
This makes it nearly impossible to figure out how many people cops kill — justifiably or not — every year.
The analysis comes at a time of heightened pressure for transparency from authorities, especially after the shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., in August.
To compile the report, the Journal looked at the internal figures of killings by police from 105 of the nation’s 110 largest police departments. Apparently, five declined its request for access.
The internal records show at least 1,800 deaths during the aforementioned timeframe. That is about 45 percent higher than the FBI’s tally of 1,242, according to the broadsheet.
Why don’t the FBI records contain these additional deaths?
Clearly, some law enforcement agencies are not reporting all the police killings that happen on their watch.
Many activists have been speaking out against what they consider unfair treatment for people of color by law enforcement and the justice system.
A wave of protests spread through New York Wednesday after a grand jury decided not to indict a white officer in the killing of an unarmed black man named Eric Garner on Staten Island.
Furthermore, recent studies have revealed that the racial divide in U.S. arrest rates is staggering.
Last month, USA Today reported that at least 1,581 police departments in the United States arrest African-Americans at a higher rate than the Ferguson Police Department.
And black people in Ferguson are arrested nearly three times more than other races, according to the study, which compared arrests reported to the FBI in 2010 and 2011.