The following link is to the Guardian's "The Counted Project", which is an accounting of the number of people killed by law enforcement officers in this country so far in the year 2015. The Guardian is a British newspaper. How they are able to obtain information the US Department of Justice cannot seem to get its hands on is another conversation altogether.
As of Tuesday, 14 July 2015 there have been 613 people killed by law enforcement officers in this country. At this rate the total number of people killed by law enforcement officers in the year 2015 will reach an approximate number of 1,200. In the month of July alone (and we are just now at the half way mark for the month) 60 people have already been killed by law enforcement officers. If this trend stays the same then we can see 120 people killed by law enforcement in the month of July at a minimum.
While the report does clearly show that more white people have been killed by law enforcement officers so far in 2015, Black people are killed at a disproportionately higher rate based on the total population of each group. For every one million white people, it is estimated that 1.52 white people are killed by law enforcement officers. However, for every one million Black people, it is estimated that 3.93 Black people are killed by law enforcement officers.
This is the case even though white people are arrested in numbers over two times the number of arrests made of Black people. According to the FBI's Uniform Crime Reporting data, the total number of arrests, as reported by nearly 12,000 law enforcement organizations from across the country in 2013, was 9,014,635. White people account for 6,214,197 of those arrests or 68.9% of the total number of arrests in the country. Black people account for 2,549,655 of the total arrests made in this country, which is about 28.3%. If accurate, the Counted Project's numbers should bother you even more when coupled with the FBI's data.
The data clearly shows that law enforcement officers come into contact with white people significantly more than they do Black people for the purpose of executing an arrest, yet that situation is approximately 2 1/2 times more likely to end up being deadly for the Black person. And perhaps just as significant is the FBI data showing that in this country 66.4% of the 3,407 single-bias hate crime offenses in 2013 that were racially motivated were against Black people while only 21.4% stemmed from anti-white bias.
Getting back to the Counted Project's information, some of the killings at the hands of law enforcement officers are what we can consider reasonable killings. We are intentionally not calling them justifiable homicides (a term often used) because by definition of the word homicide, which is the unlawful killing of a person by another person, you cannot call killing someone justifiable if it is also unlawful. What you are saying then is the killing is a right, reasonable, and or defensible unlawful killing of a person by another person. That seems contradictory to me.
In an article written by Charles D. Ellison on 8 July 2015, Amnesty International’s “Deadly Force” report showed all 50 states, plus the District of Columbia, flunking international policing standards; the US Department of Justice put blame squarely on Missouri police departments, namely Ferguson’s and St. Louis County’s, for instigating last year’s unrest following the extra-judicial killing of Michael Brown; and a recent Washington Post investigation discovered that more than a quarter of civilians fatally shot thus far by police in 2015 were mentally ill. In case you are not following the math that means approximately 150 (give or take a few) mentally ill people have been killed by law enforcement officers this year.
The Amnesty International report showing police in all 50 states, plus the District of Columbia, are flunking international policing standards is compellingly interesting especially since some, if not all of these law enforcement organizations, have Chiefs who are signatory members of the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP). The IACP has an Oath of Honor that is a part of their standards of ethics, but the telling part here is that both the Oath of Honor and the IACP Ethics Toolkit are endorsed by the Director, Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) at the US Department of Justice.
As of Friday, 10 June 2015 there were 1,852 deaths of US military members as a result of hostile actions in the 14 year war we have been fighting in Afghanistan. If we reach 1,200 deaths at the hands of law enforcement officers this year, then we will be on our way to surpassing the total number of US military deaths in Afghanistan as a result of hostile actions by the middle of 2016.
At 1,852 total deaths in a 14 year period as a result of hostile actions, the annual number of US military deaths in Afghanistan as a result of hostile action is approximately 132 deaths. There are nearly that many people being killed in this country by law enforcement officers on a monthly basis, yet not a peep of concern from anyone. Well except for those of us reading this email and Charles D. Ellison.
How can you be on track to have more people killed by law enforcement officers in an 18 month period in a country of supposed laws, standards, and ethics than military members killed as a result of hostile actions in a 14 year period of war, and there is no international outrage?
I'm busy working on my blog posts. Watch this space!