X22 Report Spotlight

X22 Report News Flash

US Debt

national debt

X22 Report

2015: The Year Police Killings in America Were Counted. Media “Held Back” Key Information

Original newz story - Click here

Heightened visibility alone, however, has not effectively ended such slayings or brought justice to victims

The Black Lives Matter movement that swept the country in 2015 has—among other accomplishments—forced global media outlets to afford victims of police killings the most basic acknowledgement: a public record of their names and deaths.

Such a grim tally was maintained this year by both the Guardian and the Washington Post, following the consistent failure of the U.S. government to keep adequate records.

African-American Chicago resident Betty Jones, pictured on the left, was killed by Chicago police while attempting to help a neighbor, who was also killed. (Photo: Facebook). Native-American Alaska resident Larry Kobuk, pictured on the right, died in police custody this year. (Photo: Alaska Native News).



According to the Guardian, 1,126 people were killed by police so far in 2015, averaging more than three a day, with 27 percent of those slain facing mental health issues.

The numbers confirm the racial injustices highlighted by nationwide protests. Among black people in America, 6.9 per million were killed by police, compared to 2.86 white people per million. In other words, African-Americans were nearly 2.5 times as likely to be killed by police as their white counterparts.

Native-Americans and Latinos were also disproportionately likely to have their lives taken by law enforcement, with 3.4 per million and 3.35 per million killed respectively.

The high number of killings was corroborated by the Washington Post, which only tracks fatal police shootings—not killings by taser, beating, and other forms of force, such as the high-profile death of African-American man Freddie Gray in Baltimore. The paper concluded, nonetheless, that nearly 1,000 civilians were shot and killed by police this year.

What’s more, the Post‘s analysis found that the FBI, which is tasked with tracking such shootings, is dramatically undercounting killings because “fewer than half of the nation’s police departments report their incidents to the agency.”

“The Post documented well more than twice as many fatal shootings this year as the average annual tally reported by the FBI over the past decade,” journalists Kimberly Kindy, Marc Fisher, Julie Tate, and Jennifer Jenkins reported this week.

However, Jim Naureckas, editor of Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting’s watchdog journal Extra!argued Tuesday that the Post also “held back” key information by downplaying the connection between the high number of police killings and the grievances issued by racial justice movements.

For example, Post journalists wrote that “the kind of incidents that have ignited protests in many U.S. communities—most often, white police officers killing unarmed black men—represent less than 4 percent of fatal police shootings.”

But in fact, the Black Lives Matter movement has condemned killings by officers of all races, killings of people who were armed, and killings of black women—such as Mya Hall and Rekia Boyd—by police as well as vigilante violence.

Even still, the Post‘s numbers are damning.

“Although black men make up only 6 percent of the U.S. population, they account for 40 percent of the unarmed…