Because the details about fatal encounters with law enforcement are voluntarily self-reported, one of the hurdles in raising the issue of police brutality has been a lack of irrefutable data to back that reality up.
Independent groups—like research collaborative Mapping Police Violence—have formed in concert with the #BlackLivesMatter movement in order to tackle that time-consuming feat. And now, The Washington Post has joined them.
Late Saturday night, the Post published their data on fatal police shootings this year, and the findings are upsetting—if not entirely shocking.
At least 385 people were shot and killed by police in the U.S. between Jan. 1 and May 29. That's a rate of nearly 2.6 people per day—more than twice the federal government's rate over the past decade, the Post says.
These victims were disproportionately people of color. Half of all victims were POC, and a startling two-thirds of all unarmed victims were black or Hispanic—like Malissa Williams and Timothy Russell, who were shot and killed at close range from the hood of their car by a Cleveland officer following a massive police chase in 2012.
One in six of these shooting victims was unarmed or carrying a toy gun—like 12-year-old Tamir Rice—during their fatal encounter with law enforcement. And like Walter Scott of South Carolina, 20 percent of those shot and killed while unarmed were fleeing from police.
While the majority of those killed were men, the Post reported that at least 20 of those victims were women, nearly half of whom weren't white.
Head to The Washington Post to read the full report, and check out Mapping Police Violence—run by Samuel Sinyangwe, Johnetta Elzie, and DeRay McKesson—for their monthly police violence breakdowns by race.
Bad at filling out bios seeks same.