Comparing the number of excessive force complaints with the number of times cops have contact with citizens per year the percentage is SO LOW that if you are forced to round off that number, 0.003 9%, you have to round off to 100% and say that almost 100% of officer contacts with citizens do not result in uses of excessive force.
VIDEO TRANSCRIPT: Based on recent media attention one might wonder what’s with all the police violence. Are the police out of control? Are there any honest cops left?
As of 2012 there were 313,910,000 people living within the US. For that same year the FBI said there were just over 670,000 sworn peace officers. This equates to being less 2 1/2 peace officers for every 1000 people. So our peace officers represent less than a quarter percent of the population and in the performance of their duties will come into contact with about seventeen percent of the population, and then subsequently arrest less than four percent of the population, and that’s assuming that no single person was arrested more than once that given year.
Excessive force complaints can come from anyone. Let’s actually focus in on the scope of officer contacts. So in a year’s time 670,000 cops had contact with over 53,000,000 citizens. These contacts could be anything from being pulled over, issued a citation, given a warning, interviewed as a witness, requesting a service, involved in a collision, reporting a crime witnessed., victim of a crime, disabled motorist, consensual encounter or even being arrested.
Of all those millions of contacts the Bureau of Justice Statistics last identified that 26,000 complaints were made due to excessive force, this is not quite half of 0.1 percent of all police contacts. Of those complaints only 8% were sustained having any form of merit or evidence. That’s 2080 sustained complaints, or 0.003 9%, of all law enforcement contacts.
To put things in perspective in the same time frame eighty four thousand three hundred and seventy six people in the u.s. reported being forcibly raped. Thirty thousand eight hundred were killed in traffic collisions and fourteen thousand eight hundred and twenty seven were murdered. So in regards to true excessive force by the police you are seven times more likely to be murdered, fifteen times more likely to be killed in the burning wreck that used to be your car and forty two times more likely to be raped, but probably not by a cop.