To date the most reliable data anyone has about law enforcement killings in the U.S. was the FBI’s statistics on homicides by law enforcement. But therein lies the problem.
Those numbers are voluntarily given to the FBI by police, and many jurisdictions simply don’t hand over this information, thus making an accurate accounting of exactly how many people police have actually killed each year extremely difficult to ascertain.
For instance, the killing of Eric Garner would not be included in the FBI’s 2014 statistics because New York doesn’t participate in the voluntary program.
Thankfully there is a new means of aggregating how many people are being killed by law enforcement. This new tool for accountability is the website www.killedbypolice.com.