Pattern of law-enforcement related injuries in the United States

David C. Chang, Mallory Williams, Naveen F. Sangji, L. D. Britt, Selwyn O. Rogers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: The pattern of law-enforcement related injuries of police and civilians in the US is unknown. METHODS: Data were aggregated from the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI), the Bureau of Justice (BOJ) Statistics, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Web-based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System (WISQARS), and the Nationwide Inpatient Sample (NIS) from 2003-2011. Law-enforcement related injuries in the CDC WISQARS and the NIS were identified using E codes 970-976, which are meant to identify “injuries inflicted by the police or other law-enforcing agents, including military on duty, in the course of arresting or attempting to arrest lawbreakers, suppressing disturbances, maintaining order, and other legal action”. RESULTS: The CDC reported a total of 715,118 non-fatal injuries and 3,156 fatal injuries from 2003 to 2011. In contrast, for the same time period, the NIS identified a total of 3,958 patients, ranging from 348 to 572 per year. Among the injured, 1,548 (48.0%) were whites, 866 were blacks (26.8%), and 605 were Hispanics (18.8%); and 1,011 patients (25.5%) were injured by firearms, while 2,304 (58.2%) suffered from blows or manhandling. Firearm-injured hospitalized patients are more likely to be males, blacks or Hispanics, and in the 18-39 age group. CONCLUSIONS: The majority of law-enforcement related injuries are among white or black young men. Hispanic patients are more likely to be injured by a firearm than struck. When categorized by firearm, white and black patients are more likely to die than Hispanic patients. Unfortunately, data about these injuries are scattered across multiple data systems. A uniform national system to aggregate these data sources is needed to better understand the scope of the problem, for both law enforcement personnel and civilians.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery
StateAccepted/In press - Feb 16 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine
  • Surgery


Dive into the research topics of 'Pattern of law-enforcement related injuries in the United States'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this