Facts and Figures on Injuries Caused by Law Enforcement
A timeline of deaths and injuries from law enforcement interventions in the U.S. Heading link
Summary of U.S.-level data, 2001-2020 Heading link
In the U.S. during a given year, an estimated 1 million civilians experience police threat of or use of force resulting in a conservative estimate of 85,000 non-fatal injuries requiring hospital treatment and 600-1000 deaths. Both Black/African-Americans and Hispanics/Latinos are twice as likely to experience threat of or use of force during police initiated contact (Bureau of Justice Statistics). Based on CDC data, Black African-Americans are more than twice as likely to be killed and almost 5-times more likely to suffer an injury requiring medical care at a hospital compared to white non-Hispanics.
Report links Heading link
Summary of Chicago, Cook County & Illinois hospital data, 2016-21 Heading link
This report (download the PDF) summarizes civilian injuries treated in Illinois hospitals between January 2016 and December 2021. For every death, there are approximately 50-70 non-fatal injuries that require treatment in a hospital; 13% of the civilians suffered traumatic brain injuries, which have potential long-term severe outcomes. While civilian injuries caused by law enforcement impacts all citizens in the State, African Americans are consistently and disproportionately the victims of both fatal and non-fatal injuries caused by law enforcement. The injury incidence rates among African-Americans are 6-10 times higher compared to white non-Hispanics depending on the region of residence.
Chicago, Cook County and Illinois hospital data report links Heading link
Summary of Chicago, Cook County & Illinois hospital data, 2010-15 Heading link
During the study period (download the pdf), 8,384 patients were treated for injuries caused during contact with law enforcement personnel. Most were male, the mean age was 32.7, and those injured were disproportionately Black. Nearly all patients were treated as outpatients, and those who were admitted to the hospital had a mean of length of stay of 6 days. Most patients were discharged home or to an acute or long-term care facility (83.7 percent). It is unclear if those discharged home or to a different medical facility were arrested, accidentally injured, injured when no crime was committed, or injured when a crime was committed.
Chicago data for legal interventions (2010-15) Heading link
Cook County data for legal interventions (2010-15, excluding Chicago) Heading link
Illinois data for legal interventions (2010-15, excluding Chicago and Cook County) Heading link
Risk factors associated with legal interventions in Illinois Heading link
In a study from 2000-09 (download the pdf), legal-intervention injuries had more severe outcomes and disproportionately impacted African Americans, persons with motor disabilities and individuals with psychiatric conditions. Despite the fact that the circumstances, rational and intent to harm by an assailant in general assaults differs substantially from those of law enforcement personnel, the severity of injuries suffered by patients in both groups were nearly identical, notwithstanding law enforcement training to minimize harm.
Report data Heading link
Upcoming reports Heading link
The Law Enforcement Epidemiology Project at the University of Illinois Chicago aims to provide up-to-date surveillance data on civilian injuries caused during contact with law enforcement in the U.S., Illinois and Cook County-Chicago.
Civilian Deaths in Illinois
Our latest report which summarizes civilian fatal injuries caused during contact with law enforcement in Illinois will be posted shortly. The report provides a comprehensive summary of data from multiple data sources.
Cost of Police Misconduct to Taxpayers
Our latest report which summarizes Cook County and City of Chicago lawsuits involving civil suits for wrongful death, excessive force, false arrest, illegal detention, illegal search and seizure, civil rights violations and property damage will be released shortly. The report summarizes the cost to taxpayers from police misconduct.
Officers with Repeated Complaints & Violations
Our latest report which summarizes officers with repeated complaints and violations will be released shortly. These data comes from Police Review Authorities and Internal Affairs documents that are made publicly available.
Surveillance System in U.S.: Comparing the Numbers
We have described a framework for a comprehensive surveillance system based on existing public health data sources that can be implemented immediately to augment police reports and data from the Bureau of Justice Statistics. A final report will be published shortly.