According to the Washington Post, police have shot and killed at least 385 people so far this year. About half the victims were white and half minority; however, two-thirds of unarmed victims were black or Hispanic. Nearly a quarter of the victims were identified as suffering from a mental illness.
Deadly police shootings have occurred at nearly twice the rate accounted for by the federal government over the past decade, and the tally is still considered to be unrepresentative. The Washington Post is compiling a database to track all fatal police shootings.
“These shootings are grossly underreported,” Jim Bueermann, president of the Washington-based Police Foundation, a nonprofit police reform organization, and himself a former police chief, said. “We are never going to reduce the number of police shootings if we don’t begin to accurately track this information.”
Eighty percent of victims were carrying potentially lethal weapons, the Post reports. Forty-nine of the 385 victims were unarmed; 13 were carrying toys that were mistaken for real guns. Eight of the victims were children younger than 18.
Twenty percent of unarmed victims were killed while fleeing police. An officer has been charged with a crime in just three of the 385 shootings.
If the current pace holds, police will have killed 1,000 people by the end of the year.