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LAS Slams City For Hiding Actual NYPD-Involved Death Count

The Legal Aid Society is sounding the alarm over a grim statistic: deaths of New Yorkers due to law enforcement are twice as large as was previously thought. Health Commissionar Oxiris Barbot, releasing re-appraised stats that cover deaths at the hands of police in the five-year period between 2010 and 2015, blamed a “flawed” reporting system for the discrepancy. The official tally had previously been 46 deaths.

The Legal Aid Society has also called attention to the racial disparities revealed in the data. A majority of the people killed, 54 percent, were Black, and 91 percent were men. Among the deaths classified as legal intervention, 18 percent of Black residents killed and 39 percent of Latinos were unarmed. The data lands amidst a push by the de Blasio administration to enact major police reform initiatives in response to nationwide protests.

“That this report purposely remained behind closed doors for years, away from public scrutiny, epitomizes the NYPD’s and this Administration’s antipathy to transparency,” said attorney Tina Luongo of the Legal Aid Society. “It also underscores Mayor Bill de Blasio’s unwillingness to hold the NYPD accountable for anything, perpetuating a culture that leaves entirely unchecked and, indeed, feeds police violence in Black and Brown communities across New York City.”