BJS: Bureau of Justice Statistics

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Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS)
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Home  | FAQ Detail
FAQ Detail
What is the difference between homicide and justifiable homicide?

Homicide is the killing of a human being by another human being. The ARD program gathers data on homicides that occur during an arrest process regardless of whether the homicide was attributed to law enforcement personnel or a civilian. 

Justifiable homicide is the killing by law enforcement personnel that is justified by law and for which no criminal punishment is imposed. These deaths occur as a result of officers performing their legal duty to protect and serve the public and may result from actions taken in self-defense. Justifiable homicides by law enforcement officers include deaths attributed to shooting, asphyxia during restraint, injuries sustained during an altercation, and the use of technologies, such as chemical sprays and conducted energy devices. 


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