Police violence in the U.S. visualized

Andrey Kamenov

Andrey Kamenov, Ph.D. Probability and Statistics

It seems like no serious discussion about gun violence in the U.S. can happen without mentioning police violence.

Unfortunately (and strangely), there is no absolutely reliable source of data on gun violence incidents involving law enforcement officers. The Counted, a project by The Guardian, lists 1140 victims in 2015. This Washington Post infographic states a lower number: 965 people.

The highest number is reported by the Gun Violence Archive: 1477 people. However, this count also includes officer deaths (56 incidents). Still, it appears that it is the most reliable source available to the general public.

As it is based mainly on media reports, it cannot achieve 100 percent reliability. So despite our efforts to fix any obvious inconsistencies, any findings have to be taken with a grain of salt.

The data that we have shows a gradual rise in police violence in the U.S. Take a look at the chart below.

Number of casualties in police-related gun incidents


Due to significant month-to-month fluctuations, it’s not exactly easy to determine a slope for the trend. Using statistical methods (Poisson generalized linear model) allows us to make a numerical estimate. According to this model, the average number of casualties in officer-related incidents each month has increased from 169 in the beginning of 2014 to 275 by February 2016. The number of people killed has always been around half of the total casualties.

New Mexico is the most dangerous state; it has the highest numbers of deaths and total casualties per capita, followed by Nevada and Oklahoma.

Police violence: casualties by state since 2014

Among the most populous states, New York is the safest with only 63 deaths since January 2014, while Texas is average at best (306 dead, 302 injured).



Discuss this article on our forum with over 1,900,000 registered members.

About Andrey Kamenov

Andrey Kamenov

Andrey Kamenov, Ph.D. Probability and Statistics

Andrey Kamenov is a data scientist working for Advameg Inc. His background includes teaching statistics, stochastic processes and financial mathematics in Moscow State University and working for a hedge fund. His academic interests range from statistical data analysis to optimal stopping theory. Andrey also enjoys his hobbies of photography, reading and powerlifting.

Other posts by Andrey Kamenov:

2 thoughts on “Police violence in the U.S. visualized”

  1. You are obviously quite biased. Youre information does not support your conclusions and your US map says nothing at all! If you do not want to be shot by police all you have to do is cooperate with them. Lets talk about something that will make a difference instead of wasting time with bogus conclusions.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *