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?

Accidental injury is the sustainment of unintentional physical damage or harm. The ARD program records fatal accidental injuries sustained during an arrest process that result from actions taken by the decedents, law enforcement, or civilians.

Accidental injuries caused by the decedents typically occurred while they attempted to flee from police. For example, these injuries resulted from jumping or falling from heights, colliding with vehicles or other objects, drowning, and choking on foreign objects that were swallowed for concealment purposes. Deaths that occur during a physical struggle with police are often submitted as accidental deaths. Fatal accidental injuries caused by others most commonly involved vehicle collisions.


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