Killings by US Police Reach Record High in 2022

Police in America killed at least 1,176 people in 2022. It was the deadliest year on record for police violence since experts first started tracking police killings. 

Police across the U.S. killed an average of more than three people a day, or nearly 100 people every month last year according to new data analysis by Mapping Police Violence. 

The non-profit research group maintains a database of reported deaths at the hands of law enforcement, including people fatally shot, beaten, restrained, and Tasered.

The total for 2022 is preliminary, and potentially an undercount as more cases are cataloged. There were 31 more killings by police in 2022 than the year before. 

In 2021, police killed 1,145 people; 1,152 in 2020; 1,097 in 2019; 1,140 in 2018; and 1,089 in 2017. 

The earliest data goes back to 2013 when advocates began counting these fatal incidents. Another database that is run by the Washington Post also tracks fatal shootings by the police, and that too shows that 2022 was a record year for police killings.

The data release comes two years after the murder of George Floyd sparked national uprisings calling for racial justice, police accountability, and reductions in the funding and size of police forces. 

Despite the international attention and some local efforts to curb police brutality, there has been an intensifying backlash to criminal justice reform, and the overall number of killings has remained alarmingly high.

While more people are dying at the hands of police, the circumstances have not changed. 

In 2022, 11 percent of the killings were cases in which no offense was alleged; 9 percent were mental health or welfare checks; 8 percent involved traffic violations; 18 percent involved other allegations of nonviolent offenses. 

Claims involving a domestic disturbance represented 8 percent, and claims where the person was allegedly seen with a weapon, represented 11 percent. 

Only 31 percent of the cases involved a potentially more serious situation with an alleged violent crime.

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