Arrest-Related Deaths Program: Data Quality Profile Page: 4 of 25
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energy devices (i.e., Tasers or stun guns), accidents caused
by the use of spike strips or other tire deflation devices, fatal
injuries due to the use of impact devices (e.g., batons and
soft projectiles) and complications due to the use of chemical
agents(e.g., pepper spray and tear gas).
All deaths caused by law enforcement's use of restraint
tactics are also reported to the ARD program. Eligible
deaths attributed to restraint or use of other tactics include
fatal injuries caused by physical fighting or struggle with
law enforcement personnel; deaths caused by positional
asphyxia or restraint in prone position; fatal injuries due to
physical restraint by law enforcement personnel, such as those
attributed to the use of control holds or neck restraint; and
deaths caused by complications due to body compression.
While in custody (before transfer to jail)-Deaths that occur
after law enforcement personnel have established physical
custody of an arrestee are reported to the ARD program if the
deaths occur while custody of the suspects resides with the
arresting agency. These in-custody deaths can occur at the
scene of the incident; during transport of a criminal suspect
or transport of a person in need of medical or mental health
assistance; or while a suspect is being held at a law enforcement
facility, such as a booking center or lockup facility.
For the purposes of ARD, an in-custody death refers only to
the deaths of criminal suspects under the control of state and
local police officers and sheriffs' deputies during booking, but
before arraignment or transfer to a jail or prison. Once an
arrestee is arraigned or custody of the individual is transferred
to a long-term correction facility, the death is no longer within
the scope of the ARD program. The deaths of incarcerated
inmates are recorded in either the jails or prisons component
of the DCRP
Common examples of deaths that occur during transport or
confinement include those attributed to complications related
to the use of weapons (e.g., a firearm or conducted energy
device) during the arrest incident; injuries caused by the
use of restraint or impact devices, as well as those resulting
from physical altercation; fatal intoxications attributed to the
overuse of alcohol and drugs; medical conditions; and suicides.
Not all deaths that occur during an interaction with state and
local law enforcement personnel should be reported to the
ARD program. Four general situations are typically excluded:
(1) deaths of bystanders, hostages, and law enforcement
personnel; (2) deaths of persons in the custody of federal law
enforcement agents; (3) deaths of wanted criminal suspects
before police contact; and (4) deaths by vehicular pursuits
without any direct police action.
Deaths of bystanders, hostages, and law enforcement
personnel-The deaths of innocent bystanders, hostages, and
law enforcement personnel are excluded. Including persons
killed in the course of law enforcement activities against whom
no charges were intended was considered outside the scope of
the ARD program.
Data on law enforcement personnel killed during interactions
with civilians are outside the scope and are captured by the
FBI in the Law Enforcement Officers Killed and Assaulted
Deaths by federal law enforcement-Deaths that occurred
while the decedent was in the custody of federal law
enforcement agencies (e.g., the FBI, Drug Enforcement
Administration, or U.S. Marshals Service) are outside the
scope of the ARD program as defined in the original DICRA,
which did not apply to federal law enforcement agencies or
the Federal Bureau of Prisons. Fatal incidents involving federal
law enforcement personnel are reportable to ARD only if
the interaction causing death also included state or local law
Deaths of wanted criminal suspects before police contact-
The death of a criminal suspect wanted by law enforcement
personnel are not reported to the program if the death
occurred before the decedent came into contact with law
enforcement. The death of a person with an active arrest
warrant are not reported to the ARD collection unless law
enforcement personnel were present when the event causing
the death occurred. If law enforcement personnel were actively
attempting to apprehend a wanted suspect at the time the event
causing the death occurred, the death is within the scope of
Deaths by vehicular pursuits without any direct police
action-Although some vehicular deaths can be reported to
the ARD program, those in which law enforcement did not
take direct action against the subject or his or her vehicle
should be excluded from the data collection. Cases in which
a vehicular pursuit of an arrest subject involved direct action
taken by law enforcement personnel against the subject, such
as shooting at the subject's vehicle, ramming it, or otherwise
forcing the vehicle to stop or leave the road (e.g., roadblocks
or spike strips), are within the scope of the collection. Deaths
resulting from vehicular pursuits-regardless of speed-are
not reportable to the ARD program if the pursuit did not
involve any direct law enforcement action taken against the
subject and instead merely entailed following the subject.
4 Current Death in Custody Reporting Act of 2013 (P.L. 113-242) includes
federal law enforcement within scope.
Arrest-Related Deaths Program: Data Quality Profile I March 2015
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Planty, Michael; Burch, Andrea M.; Banks, Duren; Couzens, Lance; Blanton, Caroline & Cribb, Devon. Arrest-Related Deaths Program: Data Quality Profile, text, March 2015; (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc949161/m1/4/: accessed January 20, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.