Guardian stats on LAPD deaths includes alleged off-duty homicide


The Guardian newspaper has compiled a big database it bills as stats on how many people are killed in direct contacts with American law enforcement. Looks and sounds impressive, except right off the top, the LAPD numbers make you skeptical of the whole thing. The Guardian project counts 10 killings by the LAPD in 2015, which would be the most of any police department in the country. But included in those, per the LAPD's Andy Smith, are a car accident and the killing outside a bar in Pomona that authorities there attribute to off-duty LAPD rookie Henry Solis. That one was apparently a bar fight gone bad. Solis has since been fired and today is due in court for the first time after being apprehended in Mexico, where he apparently fled to avoid arrest.

The Guardian says its data tracks deaths "arising directly from encounters with law enforcement," and was compiled using news reports and crowdsourcing. The paper disclaims that it's an "imperfect work in progress." Yeah. At least they made the effort, since American officials don't make it easy to compile police shooting stats.

By the way, taking away two deaths that sound like they don't belong still leaves eight, which the LAPD appears to acknowledge is accurate. Smith says that's about typical for the department in recent years.

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