According to Mapping Police Violence, a database built by Samuel Sinyangwe, there were only 27 days in 2019 that the police did not kill someone. Mapping Police Violence claims to be “the most comprehensive accounting of people killed by police since 2013.”
The database highlights the racial disparities in police killings. The data show that while Black people comprise 13% of the total population, they account for 28% of those killed by police since 2013. Black people are three times more likely to be killed by the police than white people, and they are 1.3 times more likely to be unarmed compared to white people.
Further, police “killed more people in the first half of 2020 than they did during this period in past years”. Prominent stories of victims like George Floyd made media headlines and gained traction, possibly because of graphic video footage that was circulated on social media. This database highlights how many stories go unheard.
Police are also not being held accountable: in the thousands of killings by police since 2013, 99% have not resulted in officers being charged with a crime. Even in the most high-profile of cases, like Breonna Taylor, national media coverage and public demand for accountability have not led to the officers responsible being charged.
Some experts say that gender may play a role in the ways in which the justice system treats victims of police brutality. Critical race theorist and coiner of the term “intersectionality”, Kimberle Crenshaw discusses the disparity in public knowledge and familiarity around women and men victims of police violence.
Sources: Mapping Police Violence 8/24/20; PBS 7/23/20; Ted Talk 10/2016