Calculating the police against citizen homicide rate

June 30, 2015

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by Edward Stringham

We hear of high profile cases of police killings, but few look at the larger picture of how often American citizens are killed by police. What is the rate at which police kill citizens and how does that compare to other homicide rates? Although official statistics have historically been scant, we now know that police killed 1,100 Americans in 2014 and 476 Americans in the first five months of 2015. Given that America has roughly 765,000 sworn police officers, that means the police-against-citizen kill rate is more than 145 per 100,000.

Let us put that into perspective. In most countries in Europe the national homicide rate is 1 per 100,000, so that means American police kill at 145 times the rate of the average European citizen. The two most violent countries in the world are Venezuela and Honduras with national homicide rates of 54 and 90 per 100,000. The U.S. government issues travel warnings stating: “The Department of State continues to warn U.S. citizens that the level of crime and violence in Honduras remains critically high” and “violent crime in Venezuela is pervasive.” If you are not comfortable vacationing in those countries, it is little wonder why so many Americans are uncomfortable with police who kill at more than 1.5 and 2.5 times the homicide rates of the two most violent countries.

Continue reading in my latest OpEd in the New York Daily News here.

4 Responses to “Calculating the police against citizen homicide rate”


  1. Important article. And CopBlock.org is an important website. The vaunted “rule of law” gives law enforcement agents “authority” to use whatever force they deem necessary to enforce all of the incomprehensible number of laws in this sad nation. A better solution than yours: Get rid of the rule of law, and with it government.


  2. Ed Stringham’s contains too much ignorance and deception to be taken seriously. Ignorance: for example, comparing the average “citizen kill rate” of an American police officer with that of an average European is an ignorant use of statistics. Very few European citizens are called to scenes of robberies in progress, asked to catch violent felons, etc. Similarly, the American populace is much better armed than the European populace — a good thing, but it also means that policing is likely to be more dangerous here than there. Making such confused inferences is ignorant.

    Deceptive: Michael Brown was not shot for stealing cigars. He was shot for repeatedly assaulting a police officer who was completely justified in trying to arrest him. Had Brown succeeded in getting Officer Wilson’s firearm, Wilson would have been murdered. The shooting of Brown was certainly justified. For Stringham to claim Brown was shot for stealing cigars is deceptive and dishonest.

    Similarly, Freddie Gray apparently injured himself; certainly it has not been established that the police killed him, as Stringham suggests. Police did not kill Eric Garner — he was restrained while resisting arrest; his poor health could not handle the stress. Hence the grand jury decision to not indict.

    Stringham knows, or should know, all this, and is deceiving the reader by repeating untruths originated by race hustlers and leftists.

    But worse, if successful, the left’s campaign against the police is not going to lead to useful reforms of policing, but rather to increased federal control over what should be state and local agencies. That’s not a good thing for liberty, and it is unfortunate so many libertarians are blindly contributing to it.

  3. Shoehorn z Says:

    Charles

    That is a blatant apologetic for police brutality. If any person did any of those things, you would get upset and call them out on it. But just cause they are wearing a badge, and spout off an euphemism or two, you give them free pass and rationalize all the beatings and atrocities begotten by your beloved police

  4. Pat Says:

    Wow this article was very interesting to read because we still live in a world where the police cannot fully trusted. Now with this information, I feel like should be worried about seeing a policeman in public than feel protected by him or her. Those statistics you gave almost made me feel enraged because I cannot believe that police would kill that many of our citizens.

    Since the U.S. government has to issue travel warnings, this could potentially hurt our economy. Tourists would try to avoid coming here because they would feel unsafe. Even immigrants might try to avoid the U.S. Our supply of people coming in will start to dwindle and our consumption rate will slowly fall. Jobs will start to have issues with no one to employ in unskilled jobs. I hope these statistics can be reached every where so the government can change how police law enforcement works in dealing with citizens.


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