Blacks killed by law enforcement at higher rate than whites
The numbers can be staggering.
The majority of males killed by police during a seven-year period were black, according to FBI data. In addition, 18% of blacks killed during the same period were younger than 21, compared with 8.7% of whites. Overall, whites make up a larger percentage of those arrested (in 2013, nearly 70% of the people arrested in the U.S. were white; see data below for more detail).
A brief summary of what’s included in the data on this page: Black Americans killed by police are twice as likely to be unarmed as whites; nearly half of all people killed by police are people of color, though people of color only make up a little more than a third of the population; blacks have a greater chance of being pulled over in traffic stops than whites.
Tragic incidents have played out in the headlines, including those of USA TODAY. A year after the Michael Brown incident, riots, protests and looting flared up again in Ferguson (“Man shot by police in Ferguson was friend of Michael Brown“); and the Brown family, which had always called for peace in their son’s name, still mourned his loss (“Michael Brown Sr.: A piece of me is gone“). Freddie Gray’s death and the recent $6.4 million settlement awarded to the Gray family both brought strong reactions, including protests, to the streets of Baltimore. Find more headlines on USA TODAY’s Policing in America page.
The #blacklivesmatter movement rose up in response, hosting rallies and protests and opening offices in cities across the country from Ferguson to Baltimore to Seattle. Many counter-protest movements, including #bluelivesmatter, emerged to protest in the name of officers, including two New York City officers killed after the death of Eric Garner. This year, 95 officers have been killed in the line of duty (as of Sept. 22), compared with 853 civilians killed at the hands of police (as of Sept. 22). Take a look at a map here that highlights the 10 major cities where #blacklivesmatter has protested and the number of civilians and officers killed in corresponding states.
MORE: Visit the Officer Down Memorial Page
Take a look at all the data on this page, and in the hyperlinked maps. Then leave your view on what’s happening in your community. What’s being done to improve relations between police and minority communities in your area? Send us photos and videos of positive outcomes using firstname.lastname@example.org. College students, show us what’s happening on your campus via video. Use #policingtheusa to leave a comment on Twitter. Or leave a voice message at 540-739-2928.