Arkansas: Justified Homicides Not Counted in Little Rock

Arkansas: Justified Homicides Not Counted in Little Rock

Dean Weingarten

Arizona -(Ammoland.com)- Those who want a disarmed population make much of the few hundred homicides officially designated as such by the FBI.

In the Uniform Crime Reports (UCR), about 300 homicides are reported as justified by private (non-police) actors in the United States each year.

There has been considerable research to show the FBI number only catches about 20 percent of actual justified homicides.

A report out of Little Rock Arkansas illustrates part of the problem. The Little Rock Police Department has not been reporting justifiable homicides separately.

They have included them with murders and non-negligent homicides.  They recently made the decision to report them separately.

From apnews.com:

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Police in Little Rock have redefined what types of killings are included in the city’s homicide total in a move that will lower the annual tally that’s recorded.

Lt. Michael Ford tells the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette that justifiable homicides will no longer be included in the broader tally.

The police told the Democrat-Gazette the reason to change the reporting was to follow the FBI UCR reporting guidelines.  The Little Rock Police will now report some justified homicides that were not reported separately before. They will still be missing quite a few justified homicides.

If more than one person is involved in a felony, and someone is killed during because of the felonious actions, an accomplice can be charged with the killing. It is known in the law as the felony murder rule.

If an accomplice is charged with murder under the felony murder rule, the homicide is counted as a murder, even if the person who killed the criminal committing the felony was justified in doing so.  The Little Rock Police give us an example.

From nwaonline.com:

One example is the death of 20-year-old Mashon Jackson, who was killed by a single bullet in a shootout on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive on Jan. 8.

Investigators couldn't determine who specifically fired the shot that killed Jackson. The Pulaski County prosecuting attorney's office cleared the men who were involved on the opposite side of the shootout.

The two men police say were riding with Jackson that night — Jerico Mosley and Tre'sean Freeman — were each charged with one count of manslaughter in connection to Jackson's death and four counts of unlawful discharge of a firearm from a vehicle, online court records show.

Jackson's death will be included within the city's homicide count because both Freeman and Mosley were criminally charged, Moore said.

This happens across the country. It is one reason the FBI UCR count catches such a small percentage of justifiable homicides.

The Little Rock Police said they will be reporting the number of justifiable homicides the prosecutor decides not to prosecute. The justified homicides where the prosecutor decides to prosecute but loses the case, or later, the appeal, will remain unreported or reported as criminal homicides.

When people tell you there are only a couple of hundred justified homicides in the United States in a year, tell them there are five times as many as are reported in the Uniform Crime Reports.

2017 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.

About Dean Weingarten:

Dean Weingarten has been a peace officer, a military officer, was on the University of Wisconsin Pistol Team for four years, and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1973. He taught the Arizona concealed carry course for fifteen years until the goal of constitutional carry was attained. He has degrees in meteorology and mining engineering, and recently retired from the Department of Defense after a 30-year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.

  • 3 thoughts on “Arkansas: Justified Homicides Not Counted in Little Rock

    1. Statistics are only accurate when every facet is recorded. A form should have dozens of headings so all the elements could be recorded and complied into an accurate report.
      Often when a criminal begins an assault, robbery or other crime and the victim has a gun and the criminal flees the victim often doesn’t make a report. Maybe because it wasn’t legal to be armed at that location.
      An advantage of legal licensed carry is that the victim of a crime can and should always report a crime that was attempted. The criminal will just attack the next victim.
      Reporting an attempted crime takes time but it can help with crime stats and police patrol schedules.
      But the purpose of anti-gun laws is not to reduce crime, it is to criminalize self-defense.

    2. Oh, such tragic news.

      So the next time I go to AR, I won’t be able to see my old friends Mashon, Jerico and Tre’sean won’t be out on MLK boulevard to greet me? So where will I be able to get me guns??

      1. MLK Blvd is in a high crime area. I don’t remember this shooting and I didn’t know Mashon, Jerico, or Tre’sean since I’m not in a gang. There are so many shootings here I can’t keep up. I live in a good hood but we are surrounded by lots of apartments and not far from a high crime area. Little Rock has really gone to hell. I grew up here. We moved to the country 20 yrs ago. I could leave my garage open all night with my keys in the car and everything would still be there in the morning. I had to move back to LR 3.5 yrs ago. I can’t leave the garage open and go inside for a minute or someone will snatch and grab whatever they can. I even do yard work with a concealed handgun. Crazy! I hate Little Rock.

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