Approximately 1,100 people have been killed by police officers in the US every single year since 2013. 2021 went on record as one of the worst years in terms of police killings that left 1,136 people dead. Most US citizens understand that the role of the police is to apprehend criminals and hand them over to the justice department to be tried for their alleged crimes and not to carry out sentences. We explore why there are so many deaths at the hands of the US police.
How Prevalent Are Police Killings in The US
During the first quarter of the current year, 2022, 366 US citizens died at the hands of police officers. In fact, in the early months of this year from January to April, police were responsible for the death of someone every day (97%) but four (3%).
Although Blacks in America only make up 13% of the population, statistics show that 28% of them are killed by police. Three times as many Blacks have been killed compared to other races despite them being 1.3 times less likely to be armed.
A third of these deaths occurred in relation to violent crimes. The rest took place during non-violent incidents, traffic violations, disturbances, mental health checks, and where no crime had been reported. 98.2% of the officers responsible did not face any charges.
A no-knock warrant is one of the most common situations where police killings have occurred. If this happens to you and you need a no knock warrant lawyer, RB Law assists citizens confronted by this scenario.
What Police Say About Police Killings
On average, US males have a one in 2,000 chance of being killed by police. For women, this is one in 33,000. Those most at risk are in the age group 20 to 35.
On the other hand, 73 police officers were killed by civilians in 2021 while carrying out their duties. According to Christopher Wray, Director of the FBI, this was a 60% increase from the previous year, and one officer was dying every five days in these crimes against police. He stated that insufficient attention was paid to the slaying of police officers. Other murders have also been on the rise since 2019, pointing to a more violent society.
Wray also indicated that a high number of police officer killings were the result of deliberate ambushes, which made targets of law enforcement. The Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) recorded 103 cases of ambushes that saw 130 officers shot, with 30 of them dying.
The Government’s Approach
Biden proposed a budget of $30 billion for crime prevention, which included a plan to put additional police officers on the beat. The proposal also aimed its efforts at community policing that is accountable.
According to the Movement for Black Lives, a mere $367 million has been allocated for police reform and they felt that this proposal was thinly disguised as an attempt to decrease crime in the country.
Meanwhile, White House spokesperson, Michael Gwin, noted that Biden has remained consistent in his refusal to defund the police but continued to be committed to funding police reforms, anti-violence community projects, and community policing. This included an objective to get guns off the street.
Regardless of which side of the debate you are on, the issues of police killing citizens and citizens murdering police officers remain contentious.