US police have fatally shot nearly 1,000 people annually for the last five years

A Washington Post tally found that police officers in the US had fatally shot nearly 1,000 people a year since 2015.

The Post says this year seems to be on a similar pace, with 463 people killed in police shootings so far.

Most of the people were armed, and about half were white, but The Post did find that Black people had been killed at disproportionate rates.

US police officers have fatally shot roughly 1,000 people a year for the past half a decade despite promises for reform, The Washington Post said Monday, citing a tally it had been keeping since 2015.

The Post said it began keeping track of fatal police shootings in 2015 amid a wave of protests against police brutality that year. Its final count was 994, a number it said was “twice as many as ever documented in one year by the federal government.” But similar numbers were repeated year after year.

Here are The Post’s numbers:

  • In 2015, the police fatally shot 994 people
  • In 2016, the police fatally shot 962 people
  • In 2017, the police fatally shot 986 people
  • In 2018, the police fatally shot 991 people
  • In 2019, the police fatally shot 1,004 people
  • So far in 2020, the police have fatally shot 463 people

The Post noted the consistency of the numbers, with this year’s pace perhaps surprising considering that the coronavirus pandemic had prompted stay-at-home orders for much of the country for months. The Post reported that 49 more people were killed in 2020 compared with the same period last year. May was the deadliest month, with 110 killings.

Protests in 2015 responded to several high-profile cases of police officers killing Black men.

Michael Brown, 18, was fatally shot in Ferguson, Missouri, in August 2014. In December of that year, a video emerged that showed the death of Eric Garner, who pleaded for air when a police officer had an arm around his neck. In April 2015, Freddie Gray suffered a spinal injury while being transported in a police van. A video recorded a police officer shooting Walter Scott in the back in North Charleston, South Carolina, the same month.



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