In a project titled “The Counted,” British newspaper the Guardian is tracking killings by police in the United States and has compiled a comprehensive list for the year 2015. The tracker was motivated by much-discussed but poorly founded concern about excessive use of police force particularly against blacks.
In December, police killed 92 people — 21 blacks, 40 whites, 17 Hispanics/Latinos, five Asians/Pacific Islanders, and nine of unknown race. Fourteen were unarmed, including five blacks. Those who were unarmed reportedly still posed other types of threats to officers. These threats included physical violence and ramming officers with a vehicle.
Most of these reports are based largely on the accounts of eyewitnesses and the officers involved and so might not include all relevant details, such as results from ongoing police investigations. But the available facts fail to support the claim, made most prominently by the movement Black Lives Matter, that police systematically target unarmed black men. Of note among those who were killed is, however, the prevalence of mental illness.
The basic facts of each case in the month of December are summarized below; links to coverage of the incidents in local media are also provided.
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