2015 produced at least three independent tallies of the number of Americans killed by American police. Such census hadn’t been done before, possibly as a sign of trust. Police carry guns (at least in America) because they are sent into dangerous situations. The spread of cameras and social media highlighted cases that suggested in many cases the use of force was in appropriate, at least. Anecdotes suggested the cases were more common, but without data it was difficult to support the debates with logic. The US government wasn’t taking data, so others did. They found that in 2015 (so far) 965 people were killed by police (Washington Post) or 1,124 (The Guardian). The general numbers are somewhat useful, but could also simply be a display of the danger of police work. The specific numbers reinforce the anecdotal and documented evidence that 40% of the deaths were of black men (who make up only 6% of the population), and that blacks and Hispanics were killed for less threatening behaviour than in the deaths of whites. With statistic collected, and with the US FBI now taking data as well, there should be an improvement and a correction in a situation that was obvious to some and invisible to others.
(Click on the photo for the link.)