In the wake of the death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., police-related killings are once again front and center in American social discussion. About 400 Americans die each year at the hands of police, according to widely reported data.
But where in America are people most likely to be killed by an officer or while under arrest? Researchers for The Atlantic’s CityLab looked at data from nearly 50,000 arrest-related deaths between 2003 and 2009. These include people who died in the custody of law enforcement officials, and include not only homicide deaths (which account for about 60 percent of all arrest-related deaths) but also accidents, intoxication, natural causes and suicides.
It should be no surprise that Florida, along with other large states, report the greatest overall numbers of these events. However, looking at arrest-related deaths per million state residents, Florida is also near the top of the list. The District of Columbia comes in first with 6.5 deaths per 1 million, followed by Arizona (5.2 deaths), New Mexico (4.1 deaths), and Florida (3.9 deaths).