A study in Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior finds that representations of “Suicide by Cop” (SBC) in the media misrepresent the reality of people who provoke police officers to kill them. Whereas one-third of SBC incidents in real life involved people with previous suicide attempts, none in real life did. Relatively few (6%) in fictional representations were chronically depressed, vs. 47% in life, and 77% of fictional SBC stories involved a person who had recently killed someone whereas only 7% in had involved such an incident in actuality. The discrepancy between fiction and reality, the study says, while entertaining, contributes to misunderstand of the problem and its effective prevention.
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