[update below] [2nd update below] [3rd update below] [4th update below]
Killed by Police.net: This website, established in May 2013, documents, via news reports—as there are no official statistics on the question—all persons killed in the United States by the police, whatever the reason. In 2014, an average of 92 persons per month were killed by the police somewhere in the US. From May through December 2013, the average monthly number was 96. Some of those killed were allegedly armed—and “allegedly” must be underscored here—a few of whom allegedly shot at the police first. But reading the news dispatches at random, it is clear that most of those who were allegedly armed did not initiate fire. The cops shot first. And then there were all those shot and killed who were not armed—and who were, of course, disproportionately black.
Contrast this with France, where some 10 to 15 persons a year are killed by the police. That’s a year, not per month. From 2000 to 2014—over a 15-year period—a total of 127 persons were killed by the police in France. N.B. These figures are not official—as with the US, there are no official statistics in France on the question—but were collected by left-wing associations—which have no wish to minimize police brutality, it may be mentioned.
On this score, France is actually a violent country compared to Great Britain, where, in 2013, zero persons were killed by police gunfire. In 2012, one person was killed by a bobby in all of GB.
Statistically speaking, one is 25 times more likely to be killed by a cop in America than in France. And 100 times more likely than in Britain.
There’s something very wrong with America: With the American police and in American society (all those guns).
On the April 4th murder of citizen Walter Scott by police officer Michael Slager in North Charleston SC, I will recommend just two articles of the many I’ve read. One is “Seeing Walter Scott,” by Cardozo School of Law professor Ekow N. Yankah, in The New Yorker (April 12th). This one is particularly good.
The other is “When cops cry wolf,” by Frank Serpico, a man who knows of what he speaks, in Politico Magazine (April 10th). The lede: “Police have been setting up suspects with false testimony for decades. Is anyone going to believe them now when they tell the truth?”
While I’m at it, here is something I just came across in WaPo: “Cop accused of brutally torturing black suspects costs Chicago $5.5 million.” Wow, I had no idea. A Paul Aussaresses wannabe with the gégène and in my home town, and while I lived there…
And here’s a Special Investigation in the upcoming May-June issue of Mother Jones, “What does gun violence really cost?” Cost America, that is.
UPDATE: The Los Angeles Times informs its readers (April 9th) that “Nearly 9% of Americans are angry, impulsive – and have a gun…” The article reports on a study—carried out by a team of researchers from Columbia, Duke, and Harvard—just published in the journal Behavioral Sciences and the Law. It begins
Tread lightly, Americans: Nearly 9% of people in the United States have outbursts of anger, break or smash things, or get into physical fights — and have access to a firearm, a new study says. What’s more, 1.5% of people who have these anger issues carry their guns outside the home.
This means that some 430,000 potentially dangerous Americans are legally armed and may be roaming about at any given moment.
BTW, did anyone see the video clips of Wayne LaPierre’s keynote speech the other day at the NRA’s annual meeting? These people make the French Front National look like centrists.
2nd UPDATE: Vox has a spot on post (April 9th) by its race, law, and politics reporter Jenée Desmond-Harris on “Why it’s finally catching on that ‘What about black-on-black crime?’ doesn’t make sense.”
3rd UPDATE: Vanity Fair editor Kia Makarechi has an article (July 14, 2016) on “What the data really says about police and racial bias.” The lede: “Eighteen academic studies, legal rulings, and media investigations shed light on the issue roiling America.”
4th UPDATE: See the essay (September 16, 2016) by political scientist Adolph Reed Jr., who thinks outside the box and is never not interesting, on “How racial disparity does not help make sense of patterns of police violence.”