2021 Data Summary
For 2021, the FBI released nationwide data based on a 60% participation threshold of federal, state, local, tribal, and college/academic sworn agents. At this level of participation, the FBI publishes national data in the form of ratios and percentages in terms of answers to the most frequently reported questions (as a list without an actual number).
Agencies submitted data regarding permissible uses of force, including any action resulting in death or serious bodily injury2 of a person, or the discharge of a firearm at or in the direction of a person. If no qualifying incidents occurred, agencies submitted a zero report for that month. This data includes agencies that submitted at least one incident report or zero reports for 2021. Please note that due to rounding, percentage totals may not add up to 100%.
In 2021, 50.7% of use-of-force incidents submitted to the FBI resulted in the serious bodily injury of one person, 33.2% resulted in the death of one person, and 17% involved the discharge of one person. firearm at or in the direction of a person.
Reason for first contact
The most reported reasons for first contact in 2021 were as follows. (Due to rounding, numbers may not add up to 100%.)
- 56.8% involved officers responding to illegal or suspicious activity.
- 11.0% came from roadside checks.
- 10.1% resulted from warrant services/court orders.
- 7.6% involved medical, mental health or welfare checks on individuals.
- 3.2% followed routine patrols other than roadside checks.
- 2.7% involved follow-up surveys.
- 6.9% were unknown and unlikely to ever be known.
Type of force applied
The types of force reported to be used most often include firearms; hands, fists or feet; electronic control devices; canidae; and other.
Type of resistance encountered
In use-of-force incidents, officers most often encountered individuals who did not comply with verbal orders or other types of passive resistance. Other types of resistance encountered included showing a weapon to an officer or another person, attempting to escape or flee custody, using a firearm against an officer or another person, or to resist being handcuffed or arrested.
To protect the privacy of those involved in these use of force incidents, regional and state levels of analysis are not available with data that represents a 60% turnout. Regional and state level datasets contain a smaller number of reported incidents and less variety in data elements. These variables increase the risk of linking specific responses in the data to people involved in such incidents. The UCR program works diligently to develop new ways to maximize data transparency while fulfilling our responsibility to protect the privacy of all individuals.
Participation in the National Use of Force Data Collection, which began January 1, 2019, is expected to continue to grow as more agencies become aware of this opportunity. When the percentage of officers represented in the data collection reaches 80% or more, the FBI may present aggregate use of force data.