An investigation in the U.S has revealed that police have shot and killed nearly 400 people in just the last five months.
According to a report by the Washington Post, since the turn of the year 385 American citizens have been fatally shot by law enforcement. That averages out at more than two deaths per day.
The terrifying figure actually exceeds the government’s findings over the last 10 years, which suggest that around 400 people have been killed every year since 2008.
In the report, the Post wrote:
That is more than twice the rate of fatal police shootings tallied by the federal government over the past decade, a count that officials concede is incomplete.
The Washington Post logged every fatal shooting in 2015 by police in the line of duty using interviews, police reports, local media reports and other sources.
The findings suggest that victims ranged from the ages of 16 to 83, with the majority aged between 25 and 34. Although 80 percent were armed, 16 percent were confirmed to be holding toys or were completely unarmed. A quarter of the victims were also classified as mentally ill by their family or authorities.
Half of those killed were white, and the other half ethnic minorities. However, when it came to unarmed victims, the Post points out that two-thirds were Hispanic or African-American.
The Post added:
But the demographics shifted sharply among the unarmed victims, two-thirds of whom were black or Hispanic. Overall, blacks were killed at three times the rate of whites or other minorities when adjusting by the population of the census tracts where the shootings occurred.
Oh, and if this wasn’t all worrying enough, some claim that the figures could be even worse than this, as many shootings still go completely unreported.
The Post said:
These shootings are grossly underreported, said Jim Bueermann, a former police chief and president of the Washington-based Police Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving law enforcement. We are never going to reduce the number of police shootings if we don’t begin to accurately track this information.Advertisement
Police are only allowed to use deadly force when they fear for their lives or the lives of others.
Given that the U.S has recently seen a number of controversial cases where unarmed black people have been killed by white police officers, these new figures will alarm people even more.