In 2021, police shot and killed at least 1,055 people nationwide, the highest number on record, according to the Washington Post, which has been tracking fatal shootings by cops since 2015.
By comparison, police shot and killed 1,021 people in 2020, and 999 in 2019. The police shootings of civilians are not broken down by race, but according to the report, Black Americans are killed at a much higher rate than white Americans.
The report states, “Although half of the people shot and killed by police are white, Black Americans are shot disproportionately. They account for less than 13 percent of the U.S. population but are killed by police at more than twice the rate of white Americans. Hispanic Americans are also killed by police at a disproportionate rate.”
Mapping Police Violence, a nonprofit that tracks fatal encounters with police, put the number of Black people killed by police in the U.S. in 2021 at 200.
Among them was Donovon W. Lynch, 25, of Virginia Beach. The cousin of music artist Pharrell Williams, Lynch was fatally shot in March 2021. Roger Cornelius Allen, 44, of Daly City, Calif., was shot in April 2021 during a routine check of an occupied parked vehicle.
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Police killings of Black Americans amount to crimes against humanity that should be investigated and prosecuted under international law, global human rights experts from 11 countries said in a March 2021 report entitled “Report of the International Commission of Inquiry on Systemic Racist Police Violence Against People of African Descent in the United States.”
“The good news is, things aren’t getting an awful lot worse,” said Franklin Zimring, a law professor and criminologist at the University of California at Berkeley, in a Washington Post article about the 2021 fatal shootings at the hands of cops. “And the very bad news is that they’re not getting better, either.”’
Other observers say it’s shocking that even after the police shooting of George Floyd in May 2020 in Minneapolis, and the ensuing protests wordlwide, there still has not been a decrease in police shootings in the U.S.
Despite calls for defunding the police and police reform, police shootings have risen to record rates.
Photo: Police surround Seattle City Hall, June 3, 2020, as protesters gather following the May 25, 2020 death of George Floyd in police custody. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson) (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)