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November 28, 2014

HOT BLAST: What we know about the victims of deadly force by police

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Posted: Thursday, August 21, 2014 3:00 pm | Updated: 3:11 pm, Thu Aug 21, 2014.

Here's an interesting question: What does America know about the people killed by police in the line of duty?

That's not a question twisted to be anti-police. It's a simple acknowledgement that Americans deserve to know what happens when police use justifiable deadly force: who shoots and who dies?

According to today's report from the data-research site Vox.com, the answer is murky at best. Vox writes at the beginning of its report:

"In the wake of Michael Brown's killing, there's been a rush to figure out how often something like this happens in America. The problem, as several writers have found in the last few weeks, is that no one collects data that answers exactly that question. There is no national database that police departments are required to submit a record to when they complete an investigation after a police officer shoots a civilian.

"The FBI does collect some data, however. Many have reported that the FBI's records say that there were 426 "felons killed by police" in 2012. Now, Vox has obtained FBI records that go beyond the raw number of police-involved homicides and reveal details about the victims and the circumstances surrounding their deaths. The data offers an important look at what the FBI knows about people killed by police in America."

Click on the link and read through the long Vox report. It's timely journalism.

-- Phillip Tutor

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