The Guardian, which introduced the database The Counted to build a comprehensive record of killings at the hands of police officers, notes that more than 950 people have been killed by police this year. In the month of October, the number of those killed reached 95.
While it’s difficult to record these killings — as NewsOne previously reported, local police departments are on a voluntary self-reporting basis that doesn’t mandate them to send data to the FBI for recording — the ineffective system has not deterred journalists and activists from keeping their own accounts of police killings in order to hold law enforcement accountable.
The Guardian’s The Counted, for example, was created to challenge the spotty data gathered by law enforcement through the use of a “verified crowdsourced system.” The process, while daunting, is necessary — out of 18,000 law enforcement agencies across the United States, a whopping 17,776 refused to provide data on homicides by officers this year.
A report released last week revealed that more U.S. police officers are being charged in fatal shootings, but those numbers, when stacked up against the number of people killed by police this year, are minute.
Think Progress reports:
New research shows the number of U.S. police officers charged in fatal shootings has hit the highest level in a decade. A dozen officers have been charged with murder or manslaughter this year, up from an average of about five a year from 2005 to 2014. Still, these prosecutions represent a very small fraction of police killings. The South Carolina cop who shot unarmed teenager Zachary Hammond ducked criminal charges last week, despite video appearing to show him open fire on Hammond’s car after it passed him.
According to Think Progress, 71 of the 95 killed in October were fatally shot.
For more information on police killings this year, visit The Counted.
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