Police are still killing Black people at disproportionate rates


CBS News — On May 25, George Floyd died after a Minneapolis police officer kneeled on his neck for more than eight minutes. The incident sparked international protests against racism and police brutality. But in the wake of this mass call for change, police are still killing Black men and women at disproportionate rates. 

Over the following three months, from May 26 to August 31, police in the U.S. killed 288 people, according to data from both The Washington Post and Mapping Police Violence, two organizations that have kept comprehensive lists of people who have been killed by police. Of the 288 people listed by either the Post or Mapping Police Violence’s database, 59 were Black, 102 were White, 42 were Hispanic or Latino, five were Asian, two were Native American, and the race of 78 people was unknown.

Black people make up roughly 13.4% of the U.S. population, according to the U.S. Census Bureau — but they accounted for about 20% of people killed by police during that time period. 

To count those killed by police, Mapping Police Violence draws from police shooting databases, obituaries, criminal record databases, police reports, and other sources. It includes people who died “as a result of being shot, beaten, restrained, intentionally hit by a police vehicle, pepper sprayed, tasered, or otherwise harmed by police officers, whether on-duty or off-duty.” The Washington Post’s log includes every person who has been fatally shot by a police officer. 

In the three months since Floyd’s death, the racial disparity in police killings has increased slightly. The data shows that from January 1 to May 25 of this year, Black people were approximately 3 times more likely than White people to be killed by police; from May 26 to August 31, they were about 3.3 times more likely.

For years, data has shown that Black people are far more likely to be killed by police than people of other races. 

Police have killed more people in the first half of 2020 than in the first half of each of the previous four years, according to Mapping Police Violence, despite more people staying home because of the coronavirus pandemic. From January 1 to August 31 of this year, Mapping Police Violence and the Post identified 771 people who were killed by police, 164 of whom — roughly 21% — were Black. 

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