By Abbie VanSickle.
Franklin Zimring, who teaches law at UC Berkeley, had what sounds like a simple question: How many people do law enforcement officers kill each year in the U.S.?
The answer turned out to be anything but easy. Zimring explains the problems with the data and his findings in an upcoming article in the Ohio State Journal of Criminal Law.
Zimring, one of the country’s leading experts on criminal justice, searched in vain for reliable data. He ended up turning to Wikipedia as a source. He calls the lack of good statistics a scandal and is advocating for a national database of the killings.
Several recent high-profile deaths, including the fatal shootings of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, and 12-year-old Tamir Rice in a Cleveland park, and the death of Eric Garner in New York after a police chokehold, have prompted a national outcry and left many wondering how many similar deaths occur each year.