The Consequences of Underreporting

Despite increased media coverage in recent years, fatal police violence remains underreported in the US government’s vital registration data, according to a new Lancet study that offers revised estimates and a method to remedy skewed numbers.

  • From 1980–2018: 55.5% of all deaths attributable to police violence were not reported.

  • Non-Hispanic Black people suffered the highest mortality rate due to police violence, followed by Hispanic people.

Researchers who’ve been compiling police violence data acknowledge the holes left by relying on government figures: “Our underreporting of police violence in the [Global Burden of Disease Study] was both a cause and consequence of structural racism within our institute and the field of public health, the same structural racism that influences so many U.S. institutions, including law enforcement,” they write in Think Global Health

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