Recently, a great act of journalism revealed a great national shame: police killing in the U.S. toppled 385 victims this years.
The Washington Post authored an investigative editorial which was published on Sunday and quickly became the reference point for where police violence really is in the U.S. And it only targeted shoot out killings, let alone other cases of abuse.
According the source, the federal authorities are struggling with keeping accurate reports of what really happens in this field. Less than half of the shoot outs that resulted in killing have been reported to the FBI this year alone.
Perhaps due to far too lax legislation or simple fear or simply parties that are uninterested in curbing the wave of violence and killings, filing reports is a voluntary action.
Each local police department may or may not file the exact happenings that are smearing the face of law enforcement agencies nationwide.
Here to serve and protect looks derisive in the face of 385 police victims since January 1st until the end of May 2015. And most clashes that ended up with victims started out as minor incidents that quickly escalated into fatal shoot outs.
Compiling data from police records, local newspaper articles, community testimonies and federal records, the Washington Post could reach this number. A number that is anyhow twice the number the federal level is claiming.
An approximate detailing on the victims’ racial background indicates that half of the police victims were white, while the other half pertained to minority communities.
As far as the age group is concerned, the majority of those who sustained fatal shooting wounds were between 25 and 44 years old.
The Washington Post showed no mercy when presenting some of the cases as well while making a point as to whether these people were armed or not. A small percentage were indeed carrying a gun, a knife or other types of weapons.
But a wider margin was simply unarmed or held harmless objects. A broomstick held by a schizophrenic man was the object that threatened the officers in one of the cases.
Jim Bueermann, who is a former police chief called out against police shootings and the way they are reported:
“These shootings are grossly under-reported. We are never going to reduce the number of police shootings if we don’t begin to accurately track this information”,
he said from his position as president of Police Foundation, based in Washington.
The U.S. law enforcement holds the record in the civilized world for police killing victims. Since 1990, England and Wales have had 55 such cases.
In 2011, the German police only fired 85 bullets in total. And a total of six people were killed. From this number to almost 400, which indicates almost two victims daily since the beginning of the year, there is a long way to go.
Image Source: ABCNews
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