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2,002 suspects died in custody over 3 years, study says

Washington_A review finds more than 2,000 criminal suspects died in law enforcement custody over a three-year period.  The study says half of the suspects who died were killed by officers as they scuffled or attempted to flee.

The study is by the Justice Department's Bureau of Justice statistics.  It's the first nationwide compilation of reasons behind arrest-related deaths after high-profile police assaults or killings involving Abner Louima and Amadou Diallo in New York in the 1990s.

The highly populated states of California, Texas and Florida led the pack for both police killings and overall arrest-related deaths.  The review found 55 percent of the 2,002 arrest-related deaths from 2003 through 2005 were due to homicide by state and local law enforcement officers.

(Copyright 2007 by the Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

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