A recent study found that police officers across Los Angeles have averaged about one kill per week for the past 14 years. Most killed are men of color. While many may not be shocked by the news, the research is rare given many police departments do not record such data or make it public. Here’s more from the Huffington Post:
The report, titled “Don’t Shoot to Kill,” examines homicide data from the Los Angeles County coroner’s department and incorporates details from numerous media reports on specific incidents. Between Jan. 1, 2000 and August 31, 2014, the report found, law enforcement officers in Los Angeles County used lethal force resulting in the deaths of at least 589 people. That’s almost one death a week, for nearly 14 years.
“If the killing of community residents is one measure of police-community relations,” the report reads, “then law enforcement’s fear, distrust and/or aggressive treatment of people –- especially youth and people of color –- have not improved, and may have increased.”
From 2000 to 2006, the report says, overall homicides in L.A. County ranged between 1074 and 1231 per year. During that period, officer-involved killings made up between 2.5 and 4.5 percent of that total. However, since 2007, as overall homicide rates have trended downward — there were 941 total killings in 2007, but only 595 in 2013 — law enforcement use of deadly force resulting in homicide “doubled to between 4 and 8 percent” of the total, the report reads.
The report found that of the 314 people killed between 2007 and 2014, 97 percent were male, a combined 82 percent were black or Latino and 52 percent were under age 30.