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WashPost: Police-Involved Shooting Deaths Nearly Same as Last Year

Image: WashPost: Police-Involved Shooting Deaths Nearly Same as Last Year
Police in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

By    |   Saturday, 01 Jul 2017 03:30 PM

Police shot and killed 492 people in the first six months of this year nationwide, nearly the same number over the identical period in each of the previous two years, The Washington Post reported Saturday.

On June 16, the number of fatal shootings was the same, and – overall – the number of unarmed people who were killed by authorities dropped slightly, according to the report.

The broader pace for this year through Friday could easily approach the 1,000 killings for each of the two previous years.

"These numbers show us that officer-involved shootings are constant over time," Geoffrey Alpert, a criminologist at the University of South Carolina, told the Post.

He has studied police use of force.

"Some places go up, some go down, but it's averaging out," he said. "This is our society in the 21st century."

While, as in earlier years, the Post data showed that police most often killed white men armed with guns, officers "continued to shoot and kill a disproportionately large number of black males."

Those fatalities counted for nearly a quarter of the deaths so far this year, though African-American men total only 6 percent of the U.S. population.

In addition, "one in four people killed this year were mentally ill."

Regarding fatal shootings of unarmed people, those have declined in a continuing trend over the past two years, according to the Post.

For the first six months of this year, 27 unarmed people had been fatally shot by police, versus 34 for 2016 and 50 the year before.

Still, black males "continued to represent a disproportionately large share of unarmed people killed, although their share has dropped slightly," the Post reports.

For 2017, those deaths represented 26 percent, down from 32 percent in the first six months of last year.

Chuck Wexler, executive director of the Police Executive Research Forum in Washington, which develops training programs, told the Post that some fatal shootings do not have to occur.

"We know we can make a difference in cases where the person is mentally ill and in cases where someone is not armed with a gun," he said.

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Police shot and killed 492 people in the first six months of this year nationwide, nearly the same number over the identical period in each of the previous two years, The Washington Post reported Saturday.
shooting deaths, police, washington post, unarmed people, police officers
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2017-30-01
Saturday, 01 Jul 2017 03:30 PM
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