Expanding the Dataset and Filling Gaps

The Deadly Force dataset does not capture the full picture. We need a broader, more inclusive account of all deaths that are occurring as a result of interactions with police in Canada.

1) Killings by off-duty & ex police officers

  • Domestic violence rates among police families are two to four times higher than they are in the general public.
    • At least four Canadian police have killed their partners since 2000 1 2 3 4
    • At least one death from a drunk off-duty officer striking a pedestrian. 1

2) Deaths from Negligence, Incompetence

  • There are multiple incidents of deaths from police-involved car crashes. 1 2 3
    • Including a five year old boy who was killed by an officer in an unarmed vehicle going double the speed limit.
  • Falls or suicides during police encounters are a frequent occurrence.

3) Deaths Occurring in Police Custody

  • There are many records of individuals in police custody being denied or delayed medical care.
    • In one horrific case, an Indigenous man from Baker Lake, NU was found unconscious after suffering a stroke. The police assumed he was intoxicated and kept him in a jail cell overnight.
  • Suicides in police custody are oftentimes preventable.
  • Two men burned to death in a jail cell while being held for public intoxication at the Kashechewan First Nation police detachment.

What Other Information is Available?

Killercopscanada has a more inclusive record of police-involved deaths dating back to July 2015.

View Image in New Tab

Validating, Updating, and Expanding the Dataset

Using the Deadly Force Dataset, the Killercopscanada blog, and Google Searches, I have stared compiling a new, more comprehensive database of Police-Involved Deaths.

  • I have added all verifiable records from Killercopscanada occurring after the CBC Deadly Force database ends (June 30, 2020).
  • I have begun working backwards through the DeadlyForce database to fill in missing incidents and update missing records. So far, I have found 53 police-involved-deaths that were left out of the CBC dataset.
    • I have only just begun this part of the process, there are many more missing records to be added.

There have been at least 60 police-involved deaths that have occurred since the dataset was published.

View Image in New Tab

Advocating for Accountability, Attributing Blame

As of 2017 (2020 update does not include this information), only 14 officers (3%) had been charged for a killing. Regardless of whether an officer is charged with a crime, the departments involved are directly responsible for the deaths of these 634 individuals.

Police-Involved Deaths by Departments

Rank Department Province Killings
1 RCMP BC 91
2 Toronto Police Service ON 67
3 RCMP AB 41
4 Ontario Provincial Police ON 36
5 Service de police de la Ville de Montréal QC 35
6 Sûreté du Québec QC 34
7 Edmonton Police Service AB 31
8 Calgary Police Service AB 29
9 Vancouver Police Department BC 27
10 Winnipeg Police Service MB 26
11 Peel Regional Police ON 17
12 Ottawa Police Service ON 14
13 RCMP SK 11
14 York Regional Police ON 10

View Image in New Tab

Sharing the Information

UBC Library Research Commons GIS Workshops

I have applied these data to create a series of instructional workshops. The goal is to expose students to this important information and show them how they can use open-source tools to address issues they are passionate about.

Two hands-on workshops show students how they use open source technology to advocate for social justice. The first some basic skills needed to analyze and plot geospatial data with Python. The second teaches students how to geocode with Python using the Mapbox API and gives them a basic overview of how to create interactive web maps. A third lecture-style workshop highlights the importance of normalizing data and teaches students how to apply different data classification methods.

View Image in New Tab

Publishing the Data and Results

The updated dataset is publicly available on my github page. I intend to continue working to update, document, and share this dataset.

  • I have aspirations of building an interactive web-app to facilitate broader public engagement with the data.
  • It is also important to publish this work in a peer reviewed journal. But I am unsure what would be an appropriate outlet?
  • If anyone has any questions, comments, or interest in collaborating on this please contact me!