6 Surprising Suicide by Cop Statistics


Suicide by cop is a real issue faced by those in law enforcement. For both parties involved, it can be very scary and even life changing. For the initiator, the confrontation can be fatal, just like other types of suicide. In this article, we will tell you more about suicide by cop. We will let you know what suicide by cop is, as well as who is at risk. We will give you an overview of statistics, tell you how it effects cops, and much more.

Suicide by Cop Statistics

1. Almost all suicide by cop victims were white males (over 90%).
2. They most often carry weapons such as guns, but only 1 in 2 if the weapons are loaded at the time of the incident.
3. Around 17% actually used fake weapons.
4. Nearly the same amount attempted suicide by cop due to something involving their children.
5. Quite a few of these individuals had a history of substance abuse, domestic violence, or had attempted suicide before.
6. When females did attempt this sort of suicide, around half were white. Over 40% of these individuals were also single, but half had children.

What is Suicide by Cop?

Suicide by cop is slang used by members of the law enforcement community. This term is used to refer to suicidal individuals. Often times, these individuals will deliberately get themselves in a confrontation with an officer of the law using a lethal weapon, or what could be a lethal weapon. They will act in such a way that a cop must shoot them in order to defend themselves, or to keep others in the area safe. Individuals who attempt this sort of behavior do so deliberately to avoid killing themselves.

How It Happens

Suicide by cop can happen in several ways. The most common way through criminal intervention. This occurs when someone commits a major crime, then decides that they would rather die than get caught when confronted by officers. Less commonly, this may also occur during a minor crime. Disturbed intervention is the second most common way these incidents occur. This happens when the cops are called in to intervene in a particular situation, such as a suicide attempt, domestic dispute, or must deal with someone who is resistant to intervention due to substance abuse or mental illness. Direct confrontation, where the attack is pre-planned to lead to death, is much less common.

The Real Issue

What is the real issue, here? Suicide is always horrible. But suicide by cop leaves two victims: the law enforcement individual, as well as the person initiating the incident. For this reason, these incidents are even more disturbing that typical suicide attempts. In all incidents of suicide by cop, the individual that attempt the suicide dies. Otherwise, another term is used. Law enforcement agencies are doing their best to train officers to spot these sorts of incidents (or potential incidents) before they happen. Often, medical professionals do not recognize this as a real form of suicide, which is another problem entirely.

Warning Signs

What are the warning signs that someone may be thinking of attempting suicide by cop? Most individuals in these situations have a history of mental illness, suicidal tendencies, and depression. Be sure that you can spot depression in others. Watch others for mood swings, difficulties sleeping (either too much or too little) drastic change in appetite, and disinterest in things they were once passionate about. Often, these events take place after a life changing event, like a family crisis, domestic dispute, or a change in a relationship status. If all of these triggers seem to be present, and an individual refuses to surrender to a cop, cops may wish to alert others on the force, or their superior. They may be dealing with a suicide by cop. Instead of taking deadly action, the better option here might be a less lethal form of takedown or restraint, if possible. A negotiator may also help in these types of situations.

Getting Help

If you or someone you know is suffering from depression, it is very important to get help. This is very true if you have engaged in self-harm, or have attempted suicide in the past. Suicide is never a good decision, nor does it solve any problems. Instead, you should visit a medical professional. They can refer you to or put you in contact with a mental health professional. Or, feel free to call one of the many suicide prevention and helplines that have been established throughout the country. In some areas, you can even get support from online therapists, or suicide prevention chatrooms, message boards, etc. Through therapy, counseling, and prescription medications, depression can be defeated, even if it currently seems insurmountable. Seek the help that you need today, or have that talk with your loved one.