Police in Utah have killed more people than gang members, drug dealers or child abuse since 2010

Police force accounts for 15 per cent of homicides over the past five years

Police in one US state have been responsible for more deaths than gang members, drug dealers or child abuse over the past five years.

Officers in Utah have killed 45 people since 2010, representing 15 per cent of all homicides - meaning that only murder at the hands of an intimate partner accounts for more deaths.

The Salt Lake Tribune reviewed nearly 300 homicides using media reports, state crime statistics, medical-examiner records and court records to come up with the shocking figures.

They found that so far this year police force has led to the loss of 13 lives, which is more than the number of deaths caused by intimate partner violence.

Additionally, the vast majority of the shootings were found by courts to be defensible.

Just last month Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill ruled that the fatal shooting of unarmed Dillon Taylor outside a convenience store was justified because Officer Bron Cruz had reason to believe Taylor had a gun.

The article comes as alleged police brutality continues to dominate the headline across the United States.

 

In Ferguson, Missouri, residents are currently waiting anxiously to hear whether a grand jury will indict white police officer Darren Wilson for killing unarmed black teenager Michael Brown on 9 August. The city is braced for a fresh outbreak of civil unrest following the announcement of the decision.

Meanwhile in Cleveland, Ohio, a 12-year-old boy was shot by police on Saturday as he played with a fake gun in a park.

Tamir Rice, who was black, died of his wounds yesterday.

Cleveland police are investigating the shooting and the two officers involved have been placed on administrative leave in accordance with procedure. After reviewing the evidence, prosecutors will present the case to a grand jury, which will decide whether the officer was justified in using deadly force against the boy.

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