Over half of all police killings in 2015 were wrongly classified as not having been the result of interactions with officers, a new Harvard study based on Guardian data has found.
The finding is just the latest to show government databases seriously undercounting the number of people killed by police.
“Right now the data quality is bad and unacceptable,” said lead researcher Justin Feldman. “To effectively address the problem of law enforcement-related deaths, the public needs better data about who is being killed, where, and under what circumstances.”
Researchers found the accuracy varied wildly by state, with just 17.6% misclassification in Washington, but a startling 100% in Oklahoma.
“[Oklahoma] had more than 30 people were killed by police there in 2015 and none of them were counted on death certificates,” Feldman said.
Feldman also noted that this problem was law-enforcement specific. The numbers for homicides committed by folks in the general public were close to 99% in accuracy. One can only imagine the range and quality of excuses for the Blue Death cover-up.