Recent reports of shootings involving police officers in Baton Rouge, North Miami and other parts of the country during stops or arrests fan the flames of a burning national debate over police use of force.

Whether any individual shooting incident is justified or represents an excess use of force, such events create community divides with police and city authorities often one side and protesters and victims' families on the other.

But just how many people are killed or injured in a single year as a result of an encounter with members of the police?

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According to a new study by researchers in the United States and Australia published in the journal Injury Prevention, an estimated 55,400 people were injured or died following legal stop and search incidents and arrests in 2012.

Of those 55,400, an estimated 1,000 people died, and the others required some period of hospitalization to treat injuries sustained during a stop or arrest.

For fatal incidents, firearms were used in around 95 percent of all cases, while they're tied to nearly a quarter of injuries. The remaining 5 percent of fatalities involved tasers. An estimated 34 per 10,000 stops or arrests results in injury or death, or one in every 291.

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The researchers also found a racial skew to the data. Blacks, Native Americans and Hispanics all had higher stop/arrest rates than whites or Asians. African Americans were also more likely to be stopped, then arrested.

"Blacks have high arrest and stop rates, and per capita are much more likely than whites to die at the hands of police," the authors write. "However, when blacks are stopped or arrested, they are no more likely than whites to be injured or die during that incident."

"Ratios aside, even one person unnecessarily killed or injured by the police is one too many, and every racial/ethnic group has mourned losses from undue force," the authors add.

Deaths or injuries were more common among older age groups and seen more often in men than in women. Young people are more often arrested, however.

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But what about the officers themselves? According to the data, they are more likely to be injured but face a lower threat to loss of life. An estimated 67,000 law enforcement personnel were assaulted in 2012. Of those, 18,600 required medical treatment for injury while another 48 died, the researchers write.

The study used data from a combination of sources, including the Vital Statistics Mortality Census; the 2012 Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project nationwide inpatient and emergency department samples; two censuses of deaths produced by the Washington Post and The Guardian; FBI reports for 2012 and 2014 arrests; and the 2011 Police Public Contact Survey.