New data has revealed that 27 per cent of all the 1,127 people who were killed by the police last year in the US were African-Americans.
According to the data collected by Mapping Police Violence, a research collaborative, just under 50 per cent of those killed were white people, a demographic that accounts for 68 per cent of the nation’s 330 million residents, Xinhua news agency reported.
In contrast, as Covid-19 disproportionately killed people of colour, Black people represented 27 per cent of all police deaths last year, although they are 13 per cent of the population.
Latinos comprised 21 per cent of those killed and are 17 per cent of the population.
The database does not break out police deaths of Asian Americans and Native Americans.
“In some of the cases, officers face murder charges. In others, their actions have been deemed within the law. In every case, family members say their loved ones did not deserve to die. They vow to pursue accountability so that others can be spared the same fate,” a USA Today report said on Sunday.
Law enforcement supporters said that while some reforms are necessary, citizens should not discount the value of quality policing and the relative infrequency of excessive use of force.
Justice Department statistics for 2018 show that of some 61 million people older than 16 who had at least one contact with police, 1 per cent had a gun pointed at them, said Jim Burch, president of the National Police Foundation, a non-profit focused on improving policing.
“While no one can deny that excessive force is a problem and in 2020 we saw this first-hand with the murder of George Floyd and the deaths of others, the majority of officers encounter the public every day without the use of force and in response to requests for their assistance,” Burch was quoted as saying.
Floyd died on May 25, 2020, in Minneapolis, Minnesota, after being restrained for more than nine minutes by Derek Chauvin, a white former police officer, now a convicted murderer.
Video footage of Floyd’s brutal killing by Chauvin and his three colleagues triggered nationwide protests over race, and the call for racial justice resonated all around the world.