The period defined by the pandemic will always exist as a statistical road bump for the purposes of understanding law enforcement data, along with a raft of other social indicators.

“Covid is one of the hardest things to throw into a mix when you’re trying to collect any long-term data,” said Jillian Snider, adjunct lecturer at John Jay College of Criminal Justice and retired NYPD officer. Snider said that it would be fairly accurate to say “we’ve seen stable police-involved shooting levels overall…”

Other factors to account for are changes in population, internal migration patterns and violent crime rates, Snider said.

Despite persistent violent crime in cities such as Chicago, Detroit, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, New York and St. Louis “we’re seeing a significant reduction in officer-involved fatalities and shootings,” she said…

Snider said it was too early to assess the impact of the expansion of de-escalation and recommends waiting for another three years of national data to determine the direction fatal police encounters are heading.

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