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Police officers killed at least 1,176 people in 2022, making it the deadliest year in American history by law enforcement since experts first started tracking the killings, a new data analysis reveals.
The Guardian reports that despite the international attention and some local efforts to reform police departments, there has been an intensifying backlash to their proposals, and the overall number of killings has remained alarmingly high.
Police kill nearly 100 people every. single. month.
Cops across the country killed an average of more than three people a day, or nearly 100 people every month last year according to Mapping Police Violence.
The non-profit research group maintains a database of reported deaths at the hands of law enforcement, including people fatally shot, beaten, restrained and tasered.
In 2022, 132 killings (11%) involved cases in which no offense was alleged; 104 cases (9%) were mental health or welfare checks; 98 (8%) involved traffic violations; and 207 (18%) involved other allegations of nonviolent offenses.
There were also 93 cases (8%) involving claims of a domestic disturbance and 128 (11%) where the person was allegedly seen with a weapon. And 370 (31%) involved a potentially more serious situation, with an alleged violent crime.
Report finds reckless law enforcement often escalate violence, and shoot fleeing victims.
“These are routine police encounters that escalate to a killing,” said Samuel Sinyangwe, a data scientist and policy analyst who founded Mapping Police Violence. “The reduction in the conversation around police violence does not mean that this issue is going away. What’s clear is that it’s continuing to get worse, and that it’s deeply systemic.”
The report also highlights 32% of cases last year, the person was fleeing before they were killed, generally running or driving off – cases in which experts say lethal force is unwarranted and also endangers the public.
The year before, police killed 1,134 people in 2021, the highest number since 2018’s mark of 1,144 people.
Although police departments often claim higher budgets will equate to lower major crime rates, in many states across the country, 2021 saw record-high homicide rates just as 2022 has also seen.
Cops kill America-born citizens the same as those crossing the border.
2022 was a deadly year for migrants encountering border police. There were at least 40 fatal encounters with Customs and Border Protection agents, according to a tally maintained by the Southern Borders Communities Coalition.
On American soil, despite making up roughly a combined 30% of the population, Black and Brown people have accounted for nearly 50% of those killed by police year after year.
Qualified Immunity shields murderous officers from accountability… and they know it.
The federal George Floyd Justice in Policing Bill was introduced to bring transformative change to how police officers operate. But it was effectively killed by Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC) over his support of qualified immunity.
Qualified Immunity shields law enforcement and other public officials from being held personally liable for constitutional violations in civil court. Since police officers are rarely charged criminally for their violence and misconduct, civil court is often the only avenue for victims to receive justice.
Qualified immunity prevents law enforcement from being held personally accountable for violating people’s rights. It allows law enforcement to cross legal lines they know they should not, while dehumanizing members of our communities.
Estimated federal, state, and local spending on law enforcement/corrections in 2021 was $277 billion.
That breaks down to $759 million per day spent across the country.