BJS: Bureau of Justice Statistics

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Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS)
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FAQ Detail
Does an arrest warrant need to be issued before a death is considered to be arrest-related?

No. Deaths of arrest subjects were included in the collection regardless of whether an arrest warrant had been issued for the deceased. Law enforcement officers frequently make arrests in response to unexpected events. Therefore, requiring an arrest warrant be issued prior to the subject’s death would exclude many arrest-related deaths that are otherwise reportable.

However, the deaths of persons with un-enforced arrest warrants issued against them (and no interaction with law enforcement) are excluded from the collection. In such cases, the arrest warrant indicates an administrative criminal justice status and not an attempt to apprehend an arrest subject.


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