More than two people shot every day this year by US police, says report

The Washington Post investigation figure is double that of the FBI's

Ben Tufft
Sunday 31 May 2015 16:17 BST
At least 834 people have been shot and killed by American police officers so far this year
At least 834 people have been shot and killed by American police officers so far this year (Getty)

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Louise Thomas

Louise Thomas


More than two people a day have been fatally shot by US police since the beginning of this year, according to an investigation by the Washington Post.

The newspaper’s figure is double the one compiled by the federal government, which suggests roughly 400 individuals have been killed by police each year since 2008.

While official federal statistics rely on self-reporting by individual law enforcement agencies, the Washington Post logged every fatal shooting by police using reports, interviews and other sources.

The figures revealed 385 individuals had been killed by police so far this year, or 2.6 people each day, more than double the rate of 1.1 deaths a day reported by the FBI for the past decade.

“These shootings are grossly under¬reported,” Jim Bueermann, a former police chief and president of the Police Foundation told the newspaper. “We are never going to reduce the number of police shootings if we don’t begin to accurately track this information.”

Black people were three times more likely to be killed than white people, when the figures were adjusted for census data. So far this year 103 black men and women were killed by police officers, compared to 180 white individuals.

The release of the figures comes after a spate of police shootings of unarmed black men. In April this year Walter Scott was shot in South Carolina and Eric Harris was killed in Oklahoma, while in February Lavall Hall was shot in Florida.

These and other deaths have added to calls for proper oversight of the police and for officers to face justice. Many thousands have also attended rallies and demonstrations as part of the black lives matter movement.

More than 80 per cent of those shot were armed with lethal weapons, mainly guns and also knives. But 16 per cent of victims were unarmed or carried a toy, such as a replica gun.

Most of the individuals shot by police this year, a total of 118, were aged between 25 and 35, while eight shot were under 18 and the oldest person was 83.

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