Over 1,000 People Have Been Killed By Police Already In 2017

United States (PT) – It’s early November, 2017. Already since January 1, 2017 there have been over one thousand individuals within the 50 States killed by one of their local police officers. The data was compiled by a volunteer organization called Killed By Police. The records of which go as far back as May, 2013.

There are a lot of opinions regarding the subject of police accountability, and the opinions divide quite harshly. My opinion will obviously be included here, if you have not already figured it out?

 

Some History

The issue behind racism in policing actually stems back to days around the civil-war era. The early police in this country were hired by plantation owners to find runaway slaves, people they still considered property at the time. The data gathered shows, of course, how the times have changed, but only so slightly. Here’s an excerpt from an opinion piece that holds relevance with this regard;

 

What about the word “Police”? The etymology of the word “Police” comes from the middle ages and literally means “the regulation and control of a community”. That’s what “Police” meant in the time of witch burnings, the Black Death, and feudal lords and kings. No service, no protection, none of that propaganda. To black people in the Ante-Bellum South, “police” meant “slave patroller”. It still does, but the public mission statement has changed a little, even if the badges haven’t.

The early day American police badge.
Image source; Pintrest

Since that time, there have been radical changes in laws. Since law enforcement only does what the legislation allows, things spiraled into a different format.

Now that the idea had been established, it was time to propagandize it into, well, essentially a monopoly. Use a portion of the tax money given to the government for those that feel they rank as superior, to uphold such laws. The only thing left to do then was legislate and regulate.

As we approach closer to our time, we start to see police becoming more-and-more militarized.

Bloody Sunday Alabama police attack. Wikipedia

The issue with systemic racism in this country may have seen some victories along the way, but it has all but been curbed. The recent events we see across the nation that have factual nazis marching in the streets with swastika flags flying proud, is a major indication that racism is somehow making a comeback. What’s worse? The police are killing more people in this country than any one proponent of ethnic cleansing could ever fathom.

1000 in 2017

Back to the point. Here we are one week into November of 2017, and already over 1,000 people have been killed by the police, that we know about from media. The data shows that over *80 percent of those deaths resulted in gunshot wounds. *That number should very likely higher.

Earlier this year, the Pontiac Tribune brought you four stories, including five people killed, that all were included into the count after cross checking them with Killed By Police.

Some of the data showed some pretty chilling numbers. Texas for example, can account for the deaths of three teenagers in just the month of April this year. California, has an average of 13.58 deaths every single month at the hands of law enforcement. I thought California was supposed to be the gun control state?

Chart of the top 11 most populated States in America, and the amount of people in each State killed by a police officer in 2017 at the 1000 mark.

The data is astounding, and it ranges from young, to old, race to race… Really, there is no bias. The graph above gives a little extra context. It is based off the top most populated of the 50 US States in America. The States that have 56 percent of the Nation’s total population as of the last census. If every one of these States all voted for the same President? None of the other States votes would matter. Coincidentally, the amount killed in these States out of 1,000 people added up; Is 506, just over half.

Of course, there are States in the country where not one person has been shot dead. Rhode Island, and Wyoming. Vermont has one death. North and South Dakota have three each, Hawaii hit four, and Delaware claims five. Alaska at six… And you can kind of see a pattern here?

Since the vast majority of these deaths resulted from an officer discharging a firearm, it’s hard not to talk about gun control, and the issues of safety, and self-defense.

Safety

The issue of all these things, can effectively be summed up with that one word; Safety.

The majority of people believe that the police are established to fight crime. The truth is, the police are currently out issuing tickets, or reacting to crimes existing. And most of the time, crime is faster than police can even respond. The notion is that, the only way to deter crime, is to increase policing. But what happens if more police are hired? More people killed? The fact that, if we were talking national security, and 1,000 people were being killed in a foreign country every year? I don’t think you have to think too hard to understand, war becomes never ending at that point.

The most important thing that you can do for yourself is learn, and practice self-defense. Let’s face it, if you are being mugged, you are not asking for a time-out to call the police. Also, watch your community of people and take care of them. If everyone looked after the ones they cared for, the need for police is almost null and void.

These notions are not radical, but that’s what is absolutely necessary to consider progress past the issues that are becoming more prevalent. Such as people walking into public areas and shooting without warning. Such events, almost cannot be determined. However, if there was just one more person paying closer attention to the individual? Can tragedy like we just witnessed out of Texas be avoided?

Riot Police 2008
Wikimedia

I cannot answer all these questions, nor can I really even make very much sense of the data that I gathered myself from Killed By Police. I just hope that this article can open the eyes of individuals that do not take into consideration atrocities that happen just in front of them. If more people understand that this issue has persisted for many years, maybe then we can start a dialogue enough to try and repair it somehow.

Killed By Police did not wish to make a statement for this article. You can donate to the organization here.

This article was prepared by James Job for The Pontiac Tribune.