Citing a new report from the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics on arrest-related deaths, the Grits for Breakfast blog says that 696 Texans died while being arrested from 2003-2009. Texas accounted for nearly 15 percent of arrest-related deaths while comprising a little over 8 percent of the U.S. population. The federal report found 4,813 deaths from 2003 through 2009.
Sixty-one percent of the arrest-related deaths were homicides by law-enforcement personnel, 11 percent were suicides, 11 percent due to intoxication, six percent accidental, and five percent natural causes. Texas’ numbers may appear inflated because many states submit incomplete data; three (Georgia, Maryland, and Montana) submitted none at all over the period – while Texas and California both mandate data collection under state law. The report does not include “deaths that occurred in a jail or other long-term holding facility and deaths that occurred in the custody of federal law enforcement officers.”