Killings by US police reach record high

US law enforcement killed at least 1,176 people in 2022, making it the deadliest year on record for police violence.

While the numbers have crept up, the circumstances that precede the killings have remained consistent.

In 2022, 132 killings (11%) were cases in which no offense was alleged; 104 cases (9%) were mental health or welfare checks; 98 (8%) involved traffic violations; and 207 (18%) involved other allegations of nonviolent offenses. There were also 93 cases (8%) involving claims of a domestic disturbance and 128 (11%) where the person was allegedly seen with a weapon. Only 370 (31%) involved a potentially more serious situation, with an alleged violent crime.

"These are routine police encounters that escalate to a killing," said Samuel Sinyangwe, a data scientist and policy analyst who founded Mapping Police Violence and provided 2022 data to the Guardian. "The reduction in the conversation around police violence does not mean that this issue is going away. What's clear is that it's continuing to get worse, and that it's deeply systemic."

What's more, in 32% of cases last year, the person was fleeing before they were killed, generally running or driving off -- cases in which experts say lethal force is unwarranted and also endangers the public.

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11 Responses:

  1. Doctor+Memory says:

    But but shoplifting!

  2. Nick+Lamb says:

    For comparison, in the UK police killed three people last year.

  3. David says:

    > ...said Samuel Sinyangwe, a data scientist and policy analyst...

    Ooh, goody, let's quote analysts who are also self declared activists but not tell anyone that they are activists.

    • jwz says:

      Sure, because people who do science are not also allowed to have opinions based on their findings. They live in a realm of pure icosohedral logic, untouched by the trivia of human lives.

      • David says:

        Having opinions is allowed and encouraged. But because there is a possible conflict of interest between analyst and activist, it's important to mention it for full disclosure.

  4. o.o says:

    I'm not sure how to square that with this.

    • Sean says:

      Reading that guy's table and web page are enough to give anyone a stroke.

      "Long story short: I knew OIC (officer-involved shootings) were down over decades. Because this is what I do. I talk to people."

      I mean, ffs.

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