USA Today reported that on average there were 96 cases of a White police officer killing a Black person each year between 2006 and 2012, based on justifiable homicides reported to the FBI by local police. It’s 2014 and there still aren’t concrete stats recorded that detail the amount Black deaths at the hands of police officers. Federal databases that track police use of force or arrest-related deaths paint only a small portion of the picture that won’t make them look like predators. Police department data is scattered and fragmented. No research giant appears to track the number of police shootings or killings of unarmed victims in a systematic, comprehensive way.
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And what’s even sadder is that very often, those trigger happy police officers don’t even get convicted or sentenced. And while these tragic cases happen at alarming rates, it’s cases like Michael Brown’s that receive national attention. However, Black men are not the only targets of overzealous officers; Black women are dying at alarming rates at the hands of the people who vow to protect and serve us too. Women like Tyisha Miller, who was unresponsive in her car. Her family called the police to help and the police discovered a gun in Miller’s lap. Feeling threatened, those responding officers shot at her 23 times, hitting her with at least 12 bullets, four to the head. Or women like 23-year-old Shantel Davis, who crashed a stolen car and lost her life, even ask she screamed, “I don’t want to be killed, don’t kill me,” right before she was gunned down by the NYPD. Check out the chilling video above for more Black women who have died at the hands of police.
It’s a sad truth that people of color are often targeted by law enforcement. What can we do as a people to change everyone else’s perceptions of us? How can we show them that our lives matter? Sound off in the comments below.
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