You’re 55 Times More Likely to be Killed by a Police Officer than a Terrorist

George Washington's picture

We previously reported that Americans are 9 times more likely to be killed by a police officer than a terrorist.

But it turns out that our numbers were incorrect …

This isn’t surprising, given that:

Reliable estimates of the number of justifiable homicides committed by police officers in the United States do not exist.” A study of killings by police from 1999 to 2002 in the Central Florida region found that the national databases included (in Florida) only one-fourth of the number of persons killed by police as reported in the local news media.

The Guardian reports today:

An average of 545 people killed by local and state law enforcement officers in the US went uncounted in the country’s most authoritative crime statistics every year for almost a decade, according to a report released on Tuesday.


The first-ever attempt by US record-keepers to estimate the number of uncounted “law enforcement homicides” exposed previous official tallies as capturing less than half of the real picture. The new estimate – an average of 928 people killed by police annually over eight recent years, compared to 383 in published FBI data – amounted to a more glaring admission than ever before of the government’s failure to track how many people police kill.


The revelation called into particular question the FBI practice of publishing annual totals of “justifiable homicides by law enforcement” – tallies that are widely cited in the media and elsewhere as the most accurate official count of police homicides.

As shown here, that means that you’re 55 times more likely to be killed by a police officer than a terrorist.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
MikeKay's picture

As long as the police were enforcing the law I could have accepted it since it is just a ratio, but when the police tend to do only enforcement well that is a different story. 

Consuelo's picture

A 'law' can be anything a legislator, parliament, king or dictator wishes.   Do you accept a SWAT team doing a 5 AM raid and tossing flash-bang grenades into baby's cribs?   If not, then perhaps we should pause before we slavishly 'accept' law enforcement, 'enforcing laws'...

spinone's picture

Yeah, but how many of the people the police shot were bad guys?

ThankYouSirMayIHaveAnother's picture

Seems like many forgot their antipsychotic's this morning.

On the other hand understanding the risks associated with placing yourself into extenuating circumstances is a vital lesson learned for  survival.

RaceToTheBottom's picture

Don't Taz me bro....

nmewn's picture

Don't Taz me bro!

Circling back around (one last time) to Hands Up, Don’t Shoot!

What a bunch of bullshit...

"Although there are several individuals who have stated that Brown held his hands up in an unambiguous sign of surrender prior to Wilson shooting him dead, their accounts do not support a prosecution of Wilson. As detailed throughout this report, some of those accounts are inaccurate because they are inconsistent with the physical and forensic evidence; some of those accounts are materially inconsistent with that witness’s own prior statements with no explanation, credible for otherwise, as to why those accounts changed over time. Certain other witnesses who originally stated Brown had his hands up in surrender recanted their original accounts, admitting that they did not witness the shooting or parts of it, despite what they initially reported either to federal or local law enforcement or to the media. Prosecutors did not rely on those accounts when making a prosecutive decision.

While credible witnesses gave varying accounts of exactly what Brown was doing with his hands as he moved toward Wilson – i.e., balling them, holding them out, or pulling up his pants up – and varying accounts of how he was moving – i.e., “charging,” moving in “slow motion,” or “running” – they all establish that Brown was moving toward Wilson when Wilson shot him. Although some witnesses state that Brown held his hands up at shoulder level with his palms facing outward for a brief moment, these same witnesses describe Brown then dropping his hands and “charging” at Wilson."

Seems like "someone" pointed that out around here at the time ;-)

napper's picture

Only 55 times more likely????


I suspect it's closer to 5500 times more likely (to be killed by US police than by so-called terrorists). I also believe that most of the major "terrorists" events have been planned by the CIA, or MI6, or the Mossad, or any combination of the three.

Angus McHugepenis's picture

Was it Sun Tzu that said:

"When your enemy is defeating THEMSELVES... don't interfere"!

napper's picture

I don't know about what Sun Tzu said, but Napoleon had reportedly told his generals not to interfere when enemies are committing suicide.

kaiserhoff's picture

More like this:

  When your enemies are busy destroying each other, do not intervene.

  But who can really translate Frog?

rockface's picture

What's the likelyhood of being killed by a police officer if you are not caught in the commission of a crime or resisting arrest?

VWAndy's picture

Not zero % thats for sure.

Mr. Ed's picture

I think the point of GW's post had more to do with the EXAGGERATED danger of terrorism than any UNDERESTIMATE of police killings.

The OMG we're all going to be killed by terrorists fear promoted by the security arm of the MIC is, ironically, leading us to a 1984-like POLICE STATE ...where there WILL be a good chance you get killed by police!

g'kar's picture

Being killed is a matter of perspective. 535 assholes in Congress + 1 El Presidente can and have destroyed more lives through economic means than terrorists, cops and common street criminals could do in a thousand years.

Quantum Nucleonics's picture

And.... You're 100's of times more likely to be killed by a spouse than a police officer. Maybe 1000's if you follow the don't grab for the cops gun rule.

Can everyone stop with the police bashing. Imagine your neighborhood without police... By watching an episode of the walking dead.

Consuelo's picture

I can imagine it quite nicely, thank you - with no 'bashing' required.   Perhaps one of the most blatantly over-hyped idiocies is that society would descend into abject chaos were it not for the police.   It is amazing what FEAR does to otherwise intelligent people...

Flybyknight's picture

I am sure there are many honest reliable police men and women. Why the fuck don't they weed out theviolent thugs that are all to quick to shoot to kill when there is no real threat.The burgeoning number of videoed incidents when cops under no real threat have resorted to firearms is disturbing

Augustus's picture

Hands Up.  Don't Loot.

That practice will likely keep you safe from a police shooting.


It is also most likely to get you beheaded or shot by the terrorist.

10mm's picture

Cops are applied to sheep only. Military are for Elites purpose.  Don't look to law enforcement to change anything. 

Activatecard's picture

You are 55 times more likely to be killed by the police if you are a ghetto trash criminal. George Washington needs to take a vacation in Ferguson.

Self-enslavement's picture
Self-enslavement (not verified) Activatecard Mar 5, 2015 11:57 PM

The Police are the ghetto trash criminals. But the real criminals are free to steal all they want in broad daylight. The Federal Reserve. Our traitor cops never look that direction. Hell, they have their own police force. Or is that anti-Semitic?

Reaper's picture

You're a fool, if you believe you're safe from the police if you're white and respectable looking. Power corrupts. Police believe they can identify the guilty or those deserving of punishment by their self-imagined intellects. If you're not white but suspicious looking, you're even more likely to be imagined as guilty. The police/prosecutor/judge industrial complex protects its own, which creates a moral hazard forgiving police maladroit conduct.
You have no rights which the police/prosecutor/judge industrial complex will acknowledge. The Constitution is a fantasy of the deluded.

Creepy A. Cracker's picture

And you are 245,793 times more likely to be killed by a Dear Leader Obama voter than a cop.  Make all Dear Leader Obama voters illegal?

Ignatius's picture

Whose terrorist?

Foreign adventures (murder/threft) and domestic repression.

Dark Space's picture

You really need to read a little book called "How to Lie With Statistics". The obvious flaw in the headline and subsequent argument is that there are other factors involved in both sets of executioners. For instance, I'm a white US citizen that works at a hedge fund - I'm probably much more likely to be killed by a terrorist crashing a plane into my building than I am likely to be shot by a police officer. If I were black and living in a flyover state, the opposite might be true. But a black american soldier in Afghanistan, is far more likely to be killed by a "terrorist" than a US police officer. And I'm actually more likely to be labeled a terrorist using the inane guidelines being circulated today because I think the government is absolutely off-the-hinges insane in its overreach and disregard of the constitution.

I haven't looked at the data, so I'm just making assumptions to highlight that your bold statement is not accurate.

A Nanny Moose's picture

Data please? Are you employed by Goldman, or one of the big investment cartels? Perhaps you should rethink your fucking "profession"

Nazis were also, "just obeying orders"

cigarEngineer's picture

Serious q: You're not scared of being "disappeared" one morning while riding the subway? Some plainclothed thug shoves you against the wall with a partner for drinking a soda in a brown paper bag, you think you're getting mugged, fight back, and they shoot you on the spot?

1033eruth's picture

WHICH bold statement are you referring to?  He had several?  You said that, "YOUR BOLD STATEMENT IS NOT ACCURATE".  But you couldn't even be accurate at determining WHICH bold statement.  

There are FIVE bold statements in the above article.  So now the reader of YOUR comment has to guess at which bold statement you are referring to.  

Lets start with the first BOLD statment:

Reliable estimates of the number of justifiable homicides committed by police officers do not exist.  

If after reading zero hedge for years and/or doing your own simple research that you do not understand that government lies on a chronic, ACUTE basis BY NOW, I'd say that you have something seriously wrong with you.  Whatever numbers "government" has provided on this are more than likely UNDERSTATED.  Why?  Because we wouldn't want you to draw the wrong conclusion would we?  After all Uncle Fraud is the greatest humanitarian institution on the face of this earth, right?  

national databases included (in Florida) only one-fourth of the number of persons killed by police as reported in the local news media. 

Wow, as reported by the local news media.  Naturally the local news media cannot be counted on to provide accurate, consistent figures.  It depends on who OWNS the media as to what bias is being presented.  Even so, that's too small of a sampling to provide anything representative of the whole.  

928 people killed by police annually

I'm not sure HOW you think this number can be skewed STATISTICALLY.  If a cop kills someone, it should be a statistic.  Whether its justifiable or not is going to be reported by the blue line, not by an indendent authority.  DO YOU UNDERSTAND THIS?  All murders by the police are going to be considered justifiable BY THE POLICE.  Statistics have absolutely NOTHING to do with it IF you were to use common sense.  Do I need to explain this to you?  

55 times

That is the last bolded info.  The last time we've had a terrorist incident, that I can recall, that was not aided by Uncle Fraud was 9/11 and even then we can make a very good case that Uncle Fraud assisted with 9/11 as well.  If you want to cry conspiracy, then who issued the visas to all those participants?  It wasn't Russia and it wasn't Sweden that gave them permission to stay and OVERSTAY their visits.  

Were you to do the merest modicum of research on youtube and with google you would begin to realize that yes, indeed, WITHOUT A DOUBT, your chances of getting killed by law enforcement is VASTLY higher than from a terrorist attack.  


Self-enslavement's picture
Self-enslavement (not verified) Dark Space Mar 5, 2015 10:47 PM

You really need to read a little book called "Mein Kampf"

Anusocracy's picture

"But a black american soldier in Afghanistan, is far more likely to be killed by a "terrorist" than a US police officer."

Idiot. The black american soldier IS the terrorist.

Jonesy's picture

JWO, and only going to get worse now that our cops are trained in Israel.

Self-enslavement's picture
Self-enslavement (not verified) Jonesy Mar 5, 2015 10:48 PM

For crying out fucking loud. The police ARE the god damned terrorists.

They're the ones that are preventing we the people from taking our money printing press back from the parasitic Federal Reserve. Most cops are actually Israeli citizens. If you listen real close, you can hear their accents.

0b1knob's picture

Other things which are more likely to kill you than a terrorist:

Lighting strike.

Falling off a ladder.


Medical misadventure.

Choking on food.

Bee sting allergic reaction.

Choking on your own vomit.

Choking on somebody elses vomit.





floydian slip's picture


1. impaled/sodomized by a turducken (it went all the way through)

2. dying from listening to roberta flacks 'killing me softly' too many times

3. thinking about things that might be killing you softer/faster








A Nanny Moose's picture

IIRC, a commercial fisherman is 9x more likely to be killed on the job than a cop.

Still, we allow the creep of tyranny to continue.

Downfuckin'vote all the fuck you want, you cognitively dissonant tax fucking livestock! See you on the wall in the FEMA fucking bytchez.