The CBC Dataset is Highly Flawed

1) The CBC has not: disclosed the specifics of their methodology, defined what qualifies as a police killing or a police-involved death, or provided sources for their data.

2) The data are not regularly updated. The dataset was initially published in 2018, but was not updated again for two and a half years. The updates coincided with media attention surrounding the Black Lives Matter protests in summer 2020, and to date the CBC has no plans of updating it further.

3) There are many missing/incomplete records in their data. The victims’ race is Unknown in 136 incidents, their names are missing in 45 incidents and the cause of death is Unknown in 22 incidents.

  • The CBC database has missing incidents entirely, including: at least four shootings, multiple tazings, a death from a police dog, and two starlight tours. A starlight tour is when police abduct Indigenous individuals and drop them off in rural areas. When done in the winter, some victims freeze to death.
  • I asked the CBC why the starlight tour deaths of Rodney Naistus and Lawrence Wegner in January and February 2000 at the hands of the Saskatoon Police were not included in the database.
    • “While their deaths were very likely a result of starlight tours by the Saskatoon police, they were not added to the database because there is no record of police officers picking them up. The inquests into their deaths were also inconclusive. Because of the lack of definitive proof, it was decided not to include them in the database.”

Their response highlights why we cannot rely on a news corporation to collect & disseminate this type of information.

Looking to the United States

A non-profit organization, Mapping Police Violence, maintains a database and updates it frequently.

  • We believe the data represented on this site is the most comprehensive accounting of people killed by police since 2013. … more comprehensive than the Washington Post police shootings database: … includes additional incidents such as cases where police kill someone through use of a chokehold, baton, taser or other means as well as cases such as killings by off-duty police.

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