In a recent study of police involved killings, 100% of the citizens killed by the police in the following 14 cities were Black. These cities are: St. Louis, MO; Atlanta, GA; Kansas City, MO; Cleveland, OH; Baltimore, MD; Virginia Beach, VA; Boston, MA; Washington, DC; Minneapolis, MN; Raleigh, NC; Milwaukee, WI; Detroit, MI; Philadelphia, PA; and Charlotte-Mecklenberg, NC. These stats were amassed by mappingpoliceviolence.org, by combing through data from the FBI crime report and US Census data. In some of these cities, Black citizens made up only 20% of the population but were 41% of the victims killed by police. Although a picture of high crime neighborhoods being responsible for the police violence is painted, that is not the case. The data showed the violence rate in a city made it no more likely or less likely for a Black person to be killed.
When a city’s relative violence rate and population were considered, cities such as Detroit, MI and Newark, NJ had significantly lower police involved killings versus cities with much lower crime rates, such as Austin, TX; Long Beach and Bakersfield, CA. Bakersfield is number one and Long Beach is number five on the list of police involved killings. In the city of Bakersfield, you are 20 times more likely to be killed by the police versus 5 times more likely to be killed by random street violence. This study looked at 60 of the largest cities in America and out of that list, 59 cities had police involved killings. The only city without a single police killing was Riverside, CA. The difference in police killings vary widely. For example, the St. Louis Metro PD had a killing rate that is 7 times higher than that of the Philadelphia PD based on per capita of residents. These stats from January 1 to December 15, 2015, show a total of 1,152 US citizens were killed by the police departments sworn to protect them. It is much more likely to be killed as a Black citizen because only five of these 60 cities, were the police responsible for killing 100% white residents. This is staggering when you consider Black citizens are only 13.3% of the total US population.
What this study points out, is that US citizens are being killed by police departments at an alarming rate simply because there is no accountability being placed on some of the most violent police departments. There has to be a change in the “culture, policies, and practices of the institution of policing.”