According to the Mapping Police Violence database, US police officers killed more people in the first seven months of the year than in any other year.
Police officers have already killed more than 700 people by 2022 and are on track to kill more people this year than in any year since the project began tracking police killings in 2013.
The numbers are a sobering look at where the moves to reform or abolish police departments are standing, two years after the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis sparked a national debate about the role of the police in public safety.
Despite pressure from activists and like-minded politicians to cut police budgets, reform police training standards and, in a high-profile case, replace the Minneapolis police department with a new public safety department, there have been only eight so far this year. been days. on which American police officers have not killed anyone.
The data on police brutality provides a clear picture of the problems facing the American police.
Since 2013, the database has shown that black people are three times more likely to be killed by police than whites, with police killing more black people than whites in 48 of the country’s 50 largest cities.
Data on the deadly shootings themselves are also telling. According to the database, only one in three police murders starts with an alleged violent crime.
The other two-thirds, the vast majority, start with things like traffic congestion, mental health crises, and alleged non-violent crimes. A significant number of people were on the run when they were killed.
It’s that kind of data that has led cities like Portland and Minneapolis to deploy dedicated non-police teams to respond to mental health calls and other cities and states to experiment with taking the police off their hands. at a low level. also.
The stakes in such reform efforts are high.
“Without transformative changes to interrupt the current trajectory of police brutality, ~440 more people are likely to be killed by police before the end of the year,” database founder Samuel Sinyangwe wrote in a tweet Monday.
Despite the surge of momentum that has followed the protests sparked by Mr Floyd’s assassination, it is clear that the US has yet to make those transformative changes. The modestly reformist George Floyd Justice in Policing Act passed by the House of Representatives in 2021 has stalled in the Senate, as President Joe Biden has called for more money for the police.