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WaPo Investigation: Number of fatal shootings by police is nearly identical to 2016

KSweeley

Member
Link: https://www.washingtonpost.com/inve...f4bc58d13_story.html?wpisrc=nl_evening&wpmm=1



July 1, 2017

Police nationwide shot and killed 492 people in the first six months of this year, a number nearly identical to the count for the same period in each of the prior two years.

Fatal shootings by police in 2017 have so closely tracked last year’s numbers that on June 16, the tally was the same. Although the number of unarmed people killed by police dropped slightly, the overall pace for 2017 through Friday was on track to approach 1,000 killed for a third year in row
.

The Washington Post began tracking all fatal shootings by on-duty police in 2015 in the aftermath of the 2014 killing in Ferguson, Mo., of Michael Brown, who was unarmed and had an altercation with the officer who shot him. The ongoing Post project has documented twice as many shootings by police in 2015 and 2016 as ever recorded in a single year by the FBI’s tracking of such shootings, a pattern that is emerging again in 2017.

Since Brown’s killing in Ferguson, other fatal shootings by police, many captured on video, have fueled protests and calls for reform. Some police chiefs have taken steps in their departments to reduce the number of fatal encounters, yet the overall numbers remain unchanged.

Academics who study shootings give weight to The Post’s accounting.

“These numbers show us that officer-involved shootings are constant over time,” said Geoffrey Alpert, a criminologist at the University of South Carolina who has studied police use of force. “Some places go up, some go down, but it’s averaging out. This is our society in the 21st century.”

This year, fatal shootings of unarmed people have declined, continuing a trend over the past two years. In the first six months of this year, 27 unarmed people were fatally shot, compared with 34 for the same period in 2016 and 50 in the first six months of 2015.

Black males continued to represent a disproportionately large share of unarmed people killed, although their share has dropped slightly: from 32 percent of all unarmed killings during the first six months of last year to 26 percent for the same period this year.

One of those seven unarmed black males killed was Jordan Edwards, a 15-year-old high school freshman who was shot in April by a police officer in a Dallas suburb. An officer in Balch Springs opened fire with an AR-15 rifle on Edwards and his friends as they drove away from a party, according to news reports. The department initially said the teens tried to back over the officer but retracted the statement after officials reviewed video of the shooting. The officer, who is white, has been fired and charged with murder.
 

KSweeley

Member
Officer involved shootings "is our society in the 21st Century":

“These numbers show us that officer-involved shootings are constant over time,” said Geoffrey Alpert, a criminologist at the University of South Carolina who has studied police use of force. “Some places go up, some go down, but it’s averaging out. This is our society in the 21st century
 
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