Police shot and killed nearly 1,000 people in 2015, study says

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Nearly 1,000 people were fatally shot by police officers in America in 2015, according to the Washington Post.

The paper has been compiling statistics of every fatal police shooting throughout the year. On Saturday, it released its year-end analysis of those numbers.

The Post found that police had killed 965 people in 2015. While most were either armed, emotionally disturbed or ran from officers, the statistics the paper amassed about the killing of unarmed people showed a stark racial divide:

Although black men make up only 6 percent of the U.S. population, they account for 40 percent of the unarmed men shot to death by police this year, The Post’s database shows. In the majority of cases in which police shot and killed a person who had attacked someone with a weapon or brandished a gun, the person who was shot was white. But a hugely disproportionate number - 3 in 5 - of those killed after exhibiting less threatening behavior were black or Hispanic.


Many have noted that the police shooting study by the Post, as well as one by the Guardian—whose tally actually lists 1,124 deaths at police hands in 2015—is far more comprehensive than the statistics that the federal government has compiled. Earlier this year, the FBI announced that it would begin tracking police shootings more carefully.

The Post released its findings on the same day that police in Chicago killed two people—19-year-old Quintonio LeGrier and 55-year-old Bettie Jones. LeGrier, who was shot seven times, was reportedly suffering from mental health issues. The Chicago Police Department said it shot Jones "accidentally."

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