The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation has released a comprehensive study detailing law enforcement-related deaths that occurred in the state in calendar year 2020.
The report, released in accordance to the requirements in Tennessee Code Annotated §38-10-102, uses established definitions and methodology and provides information qualifying incidents submitted by the state’s law enforcement agencies.
The data is divided into three categories:
Deadly Use-of-Force Incidents (when officers have to use deadly force in the performance of their job);
Arrest-Related Non-Forcible Deaths any death attributable to suicide, alcohol, drug intoxication, or medical conditions, like cradiac arrest, that occurs during the process of arrest by, or in the custody of, state and or local law enforcement personnel);
and Deaths in Custody (as it pertains to deaths that occurred in a local jail or a state prison).
The report does not include incidents where an officer had to discharge their service weapon “not resulting in death or when a subject sustained a serious bodily injury” during their interaction.
Among the report’s findings:
- In 2020, a total of 28 deadly use-of-force incidents occurred in the state, with 13 incidents in the months of May, June, and July accounting for 46.4% of reported deaths.
- Twelve of the reported deadly use-of-force incidents occurred in a highway, road, alley, sidewalk, or street, accounting for 42.9% of all such incidents. Nine (32.1%) occurred in a residence. Additionally, four occurred in parking lots or garages, and one each occurred at a convenience store, a park or playground and in a “field or woods.”
- Incidents were reported to occur most frequently between the hours of 6 pm and midnight, with 13 of the 28 law enforcement-related deaths taking place in that six-hour window.
- In 2020, according to the report, 37 deaths in custody were reported by 22 facilities across the state.
- White subjects accounted for 74.2% of those killed in deadly use-of-force incidents, while African-American subjects accounted for 16.1%.
The full report is available for review by following this link.