Amer­ica’s po­lice of­fi­cers kill more than two peo­ple a day: Wash­ing­ton Post

The China Post - - INTERNATIONAL -

U.S. po­lice have killed peo­ple at a rate of more than two a day this year, The Wash­ing­ton Post re­ported Sun­day, us­ing its own tally for lack of com­plete fed­eral statis­tics.

The fed­eral gov­ern­ment must rely on par­tial data be­cause the coun­try’s 17,000 or so state and lo­cal po­lice agen­cies are not re­quired to re­port such killings.

The news­pa­per is track­ing the deaths as a na­tional de­bate rages over po­lice use of deadly force, es- pe­cially in black and other mi­nor­ity com­mu­ni­ties.

The Post found that rel­a­tive to the over­all pop­u­la­tion, blacks were killed at three times the rate of other mi­nori­ties or whites in the po­lice killings it an­a­lyzed this year.

The re­port noted that most of the peo­ple killed were armed with po­ten­tially lethal ob­jects — mainly guns, but also knives and other items. Six­teen per­cent were car­ry­ing a toy or were un­armed.

The Post found that so far this year, at least 385 peo­ple have been shot and killed by po­lice across the United States — a rate of more than two a day.

“Th­ese shoot­ings are grossly un­der- re­ported,” for­mer Po­lice Chief Jim Bueer­mann, head of a non­profit or­ga­ni­za­tion ded­i­cated to im­prov­ing law en­force­ment, told The Post. “We are never go­ing to re­duce the num­ber of po­lice shoot­ings if we don’t begin to ac­cu­rately track this in­for­ma­tion.”

One of the most prom­i­nent re­cent cases to fuel the on­go­ing de­bate about po­lice vi­o­lence is that of Michael Brown, an 18-year-old who was fa­tally shot last year in Fer­gu­son, Mis­souri.

The death and sub­se­quent lack of legal ac­tion against the po­lice of­fi­cer who shot him prompted wide­spread ri­ots in the St Louis sub­urb.

In Bal­ti­more last month, ri­ots broke out fol­low­ing protests over the death of Fred­die Gray, 25, who died from in­juries sus­tained in the back of a po­lice van.

The Post found that many of the killings stemmed from mi­nor in­ter­ac­tions be­tween po­lice and com­mu­nity mem­bers that es­ca­lated into sud­den vi­o­lence.

In one case, for in­stance, po­lice in the Florida city of Miami Gar­dens killed a schiz­o­phrenic man who was wav­ing a broom­stick. His mother had called po­lice be­cause she couldn’t per­suade him to come in from the cold.

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