The killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, last month by Officer Darren Wilson led to weeks of protest, a militarized police response to early reports of rioting, and a “national discussion” about police militarization, racism, and police brutality.
The police killing of Michael Brown was not unique. Although comprehensive statistics are not available, at least 387 justified homicides by cops were reported to the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) in 2010, while 2,958 people were killed by cops between 2003 and 2009, according to the BJS’ Arrest-Related Deaths report.
The BJS defines arrest-related as a situation in which police are detaining or restraining an individual. Although the BJS notes its numbers are incomplete, it says the data breakdown is representative of the nature of arrest-related deaths, if not the volume.