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A protester speaks into a bull horn while holding a sign with images of deceased Native American woman Georgianna Jackson during a protest to voice their concerns about police killings. Photo: Ty O'Neil/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

More than half of police killings since 1980 have been incorrectly categorized, according to a study from researchers at the University of Washington.

Why it matters: The study indicates that deaths at the hands of police officers have been undercounted, significantly skewering the perception of what the researchers called a public health crisis, the Washington Post reports.

Driving the news: The research, published in The Lancet on Thursday, found that from 1980 to 2018, more than 55% of nearly 31,000 deaths attributed to police violence were given other causes in federal data.

  • In 2018, the most recent year that National Vital Statistics System data was available, researchers estimated that there were 642 deaths missing out of 1,240 total estimated deaths.
  • The mislabeling of police killings varies by race and ethnicity. The deaths of Black men were underreported at the highest frequency of any group.
  • Black people were 3.5 times more likely than white people to be killed by police, per the study.

Researchers also identified places where the misclassification of deaths most often occurred, noting that "many medical examiners and coroners work for or are embedded within police departments."

  • "Using open-source databases that report police violence without the biases reflected in government reporting agencies is a crucial public health need in the USA and potentially globally as well," the researchers write.

What they're saying: The report's authors urge public health officials to "swiftly adopt open-source data-collection initiatives to provide accurate estimates and advocate for policy change to address this long-neglected public health crisis," per the Post.

  • "Systemic and direct racism, manifested in laws and policies as well as personal implicit biases, result in Black, Indigenous, and Hispanic Americans being the targets of police violence," the report's authors write.

Go deeper: Over half of police-involved killings in 2020 began after non-violent incidents

Go deeper

Philly City Council passes ban on traffic stops for minor violations

Illustration: Allie Carl/Axios

Philadelphia legislators passed a bill Thursday that aims to root out racial profiling by preventing cops from pulling over drivers solely for minor traffic violations.

What's happening: The bill, which the City Council passed 14-2, bans officers from pulling over drivers for so-called "secondary violations," such as driving with a broken taillight or without an inspection sticker.

Why it matters: Philly police are more likely to pull over Black drivers than white drivers.

  • Recent data shows 72% of drivers pulled over for alleged motor vehicle stops in Philadelphia are Black, at-large Councilmember Isaiah Thomas, the bills' main sponsor, said. However, Black residents only make up 42% of the city's population.

Biden: "Being a cop today is one hell of a lot harder than it's ever been"

President Biden speaks during the 40th Annual National Peace Officers Memorial Service at the U.S Capitolon Oct. 16. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

President Biden speaking at the U.S. Capitol on Saturday honored members of law enforcement who died in the line of duty in 2019 and 2021 and saluted those who are currently serving.

Driving the news: "We expect everything of you, and it's beyond the capacity of anyone to meet the total expectations. Being a cop today is one hell of a lot harder than it's ever been," Biden said.

Updated 4 hours ago - World

Islamic State claims responsibility for deadly bombing in southern Afghanistan

The mosque after the explosion in southern Kandahar province on Oct. 15. Photo: Murteza Khaliqi/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for a massive blast that tore through a crowded Shiite mosque in the southern Afghan city of Kandahar on Friday, killing at least 47 people and injuring dozens more, AP reports.

Why it matters: Friday's attack was the deadliest to strike Afghanistan since the U.S. withdrew its troops from the region and is the second major attack on a Shiite mosque in a week, underscoring the Taliban's growing security threat from other militant groups.