According to data from both USA Today and the FBI Supplementary Homicide Report, there are approximately 400 "felons" killed by police officers or "justifiable homicides" yearly in the US. In 2012, for example, there were 426 such homicides. These figures represent cases in which officers killing a suspect claim there was "an urgent safety need" for the shooting.
The thought of violent death both fascinates and terrifies us, so it is understandable that homicide and suicide are the subjects of voluminous commentary. Regrettably, much of this commentary is based on emotion rather than reason, and it is propped up by incorrect "facts" that have been repeated so often that they have become widely accepted.
There are three kinds of lies - lies, damned lies, and statistics.
In Part I of this article, Politics or Science, we made some preliminary observations regarding the Harvard School of Public Health study published in the February 2002 issue of the Journal of Trauma.(1)