NASHVILLE – Today, for the first time, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation has released a comprehensive study detailing law enforcement-related deaths in the state.

The report, released in accordance to the requirements set forth in Tennessee Code Annotated § 38-10-102, uses established definitions and methodology and provides information on qualifying incidents submitted by the state’s law enforcement agencies. Data has been divided into three categories: Deadly Use-of-Force incidents, Arrest-Related Non-Forcible Deaths, and Deaths in Custody.

Among the report’s findings:

  • In 2017, 53 law enforcement agencies reported a total of 120 law enforcement-related deaths. Of those, 24 deaths met the reporting criteria, established in state law, of deadly use of force by a law enforcement officer.
  • The most predominate time frame for a deadly use-of-force incident in 2017 was between the hours of 6:00 PM and 11:59 PM.
  • Of the 24 reported deadly use-of-force incidents in 2017, Whites accounted 87.5% of decedents, compared to Black or African-American, at 12.5%. Data did not identify any other races in these reported incidents. Males accounted for 96.0% of those killed in these incidents.
  • Of the 120 law enforcement-related deaths reported in 2017, nine met the Arrest-Related Non-Forcible Death (ARNDF) reporting criteria. The 2017 data indicated six of these deaths were reported as Suicide.
  • In 2017, 87 deaths were reported in local jails or state prisons. 92.0% of these deaths were male and most were above the age of 55. Illness accounted for the leading cause of these deaths.

“I am very proud of the efforts of all participating law enforcement agencies in the state to provide the data necessary to produce this report,” said TBI Director Mark Gwyn. “Our combined efforts have resulted in a successful reporting program and the relationships necessary to produce a report of this nature.”

The full report can be found on the TBI’s website: