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By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

8/20/2014 (8 months ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

FBI doesn't track number of officers prosecuted for homicide in line of duty

Law enforcement agents, be they police or sheriff's deputies, are frequently called upon to defend civilians. In their line of duty, policemen are required to make hair-trigger decisions in order to protect the lives of the innocent. This at times requires shooting a suspect who endangers the lives of others. It's a far too frequent incident in the United States - as more than 400 such officers are cleared of any wrongdoing in these situations every year.

Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. in addition to more than 40 FBI agents will meet in Ferguson, Missouri, following the death of teenager Michael Brown, an unarmed robbery suspect shot six times by a police officer.

Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. in addition to more than 40 FBI agents will meet in Ferguson, Missouri, following the death of teenager Michael Brown, an unarmed robbery suspect shot six times by a police officer.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

8/20/2014 (8 months ago)

Published in U.S.

Keywords: Justified homicide, police shootings, felonies, FBI


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - These fatal police killings a year are sanctioned by local, state and federal authorities and are termed "justified homicides." The Federal Bureau of Investigation, or FBI doesn't specifically track how many times officers are prosecuted for improperly causing a person's death.

The agency says it doesn't keep statistics on specific prosecutions of law enforcement officers because it doesn't track crimes by profession, although the FBI does track justified homicide rulings.

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In the last year available for full statistics, law enforcement ruled a total of 410 deaths as justi

In the last year available for full statistics, law enforcement ruled a total of 410 deaths as justified homicides in 2012. The annual number has been steady for much of the past few decades, officials said.


In the last year available for full statistics, law enforcement ruled a total of 410 deaths as justified homicides in 2012. The annual number has been steady for much of the past few decades, officials said.

The FBI defines justifiable homicide as "the killing of a felon by a law enforcement officer in the line of duty."

The word "felon," implies that someone in the incident who already has been convicted of a crime, which leaves a lot of areas out of the data, including people who have committed crimes but completed their sentences, as well as civilians at large.

The FBI defines justifiable homicide as "the killing of a felon by a law enforcement officer in the

The FBI defines justifiable homicide as "the killing of a felon by a law enforcement officer in the line of duty."


This is coming into play as Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. in addition to more than 40 FBI agents meet in Ferguson, Missouri, following the death of teenager Michael Brown, an unarmed robbery suspect shot six times by a police officer.

Police say Brown charged officers. Brown's family in the meantime has called the shooting unwarranted. The incident has unleashed more than a week of racial tensions, protests, riots and looting.

The word "felon," implies that someone in the incident who already has been convicted of a crime, wh

The word "felon," implies that someone in the incident who already has been convicted of a crime, which leaves a lot of areas out of the data, including people who have committed crimes but completed their sentences, as well as civilians at large.


Another unrelated fatal police shooting occurred this week in nearby St. Louis. Most police shootings don't get the high-profile attention of the U.S. Justice Department. They are adjudicated by state and local officials in a process in which discretion and interpretation are often key to the outcome, legal analysts said.

Jens David Ohlin, a professor at Cornell University Law School says that it's often difficult to tell the difference between an officer acting properly or improperly.

"To decide between a lawful act of self-defense and a case of police brutality might hinge on something as simple as where were the suspect's arms and in what direction were they moving," he said.

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