Document Detail

Deaths among criminal suspects, law enforcement officers, civilians, and prison inmates: a coroner-based study.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  14634471     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
During the interaction between a criminal suspect and a law enforcement officer, the risk of death to the suspect, police, or civilians is increased. Unfortunately, very little information is available on the death risks arising from this interaction. This study provides an assessment of the risk of death to law enforcement officers, suspects, and bystanders by separating the interactions into the following 4 phases: (1) events prior to and during arrest; (2) police pursuits or chases; (3) transport of the suspects; and (4) during incarceration. A 5-year (1994-1998) retrospective coroner-based study of all deaths that occurred during these 4 phases was conducted in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. A total of 77 cases were identified; 14 deaths (18.1%) occurred prior to or during arrest, 10 (12.9%) during police chases, 2 (2.6%) occurred while the actors were being transported, and 51 (66.2%) during incarceration. The majority of cases (98.7%) were males, blacks (63.6%), and single (50.6%). The respective risks of death by phase were prearrest/arrest, 6.5 per 100,000 arrests; transport, 0.93 deaths per 100,000 arrests; and incarceration, 268 deaths per 100,000 inmates. Study showed the following: (1) risk of death to offenders was greatest during police pursuits; (2) the risks during arrests are not insignificant and involved an officer being threatened with a weapon in one-third of the events; and (3) deaths among inmates were primarily due to natural causes.
Steven A Koehler; Hank Weiss; Thomas J Songer; Leon Rozin; Abdulrezzak Shakir; Shaun Ladham; Bennet Omalu; Joseph Dominick; Cyril H Wecht
Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't    
Journal Detail:
Title:  The American journal of forensic medicine and pathology     Volume:  24     ISSN:  0195-7910     ISO Abbreviation:  Am J Forensic Med Pathol     Publication Date:  2003 Dec 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2003-11-24     Completed Date:  2004-05-04     Revised Date:  2011-02-02    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  8108948     Medline TA:  Am J Forensic Med Pathol     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  334-8     Citation Subset:  IM    
Allegheny County Coroner's Office, Pittsburgh, PA 15219, USA.
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MeSH Terms
African Continental Ancestry Group / statistics & numerical data
Cause of Death
Coroners and Medical Examiners*
Forensic Medicine / statistics & numerical data
Homicide / statistics & numerical data
Pennsylvania / epidemiology
Police / statistics & numerical data*
Prisoners / statistics & numerical data*
Retrospective Studies
Risk Assessment
Sex Distribution
Suicide / statistics & numerical data

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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