LISTEN: Alaska lacks good data on police killings, researcher says

Anchorage Police Department downtown headquarters on June 9, 2020 (Lex Treinen/Alaska Public Media)

It’s unclear how Alaska compares to other states in terms of the prevalence of police use of force or excessive force.

Some data in recent years comparing states suggest Alaska has one of the highest rates of police killings, per capita, in the country. But University of Alaska Justice Center Director Brad Myrstol said, in a state with a relatively small population, the difference between one or two such incidents can be magnified.

It’s in times like these, Myrstol said, that researchers wish they had better numbers.

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Related: ‘No justice, no peace!’: Thousands demonstrate in Southcentral against racism and police killings

Related: “We’ve got to do better”: Anchorage police address racial bias, use of force policies

Casey Grove is host of Alaska News Nightly, a general assignment reporter and an editor at Alaska Public Media. Reach him at Read more about Casey here

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