BJS: Bureau of Justice Statistics

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Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS)
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What types of arrest-related deaths are recorded as accidental?

The term accidental injury is used to describe the sustainment of unintentional physical damage or harm. Fatal injuries sustained during an arrest process were the result of actions taken by the decedents and others, including law enforcement officers and civilians.

Accidental injuries caused by the decedents typically occurred while attempting to flee from police. These injuries were the result of jumping and or falling from heights, colliding with vehicles or other objects, drowning, and choking on foreign objects that were swallowed for concealment purposes.

Accidental injury caused by others most commonly involved vehicle collisions. In addition, deaths occurring during a physical struggle with police were often submitted as accidental deaths.

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