Police Killed More Black Americans Last Year Than Terrorists Did On 9/11

While we’re still reeling from recently released footage of unarmed African American Walter Scott being shot by police officer Michael Slager in South Carolina, it’s important to keep police brutality in the spotlight even after the press dies down. Americans – especially black Americans – are killed by police year round – and the statistics are startling.

Although it’s hard to pinpoint exactly how many African-Americans are killed by cops each year, several sources have referred to KilledByPolice.net, which started collecting data on police shootings in 2013, and includes information on race and gender. According to KilledByPolice’s 2104 data, 238 black Americans were killed by police – which is probably lower than the true number, as not every story about a police-related death records gender and race. In fact, it was recently found that police kill twice as many people than the U.S. government reports.

YouTube (Do The Right Thing Screenshot).

YouTube (Do The Right Thing Screenshot).

The more disturbing part of these findings is that last year’s black deaths by cops exceeds the number of black Americans who perished in the World Trade Center attacks of September 11, 2001. The Centers for Disease Control reports that 215 black lives (136 men and 79 women) were taken in 9/11 – more than the estimated 238 black lives lost to police officers.

In 2013, it was reported that police officers had killed 5,000 people since 9/11 – statistics that make local cops seem like more of a threat to Americans than actual “terrorists.” In fact, Americans are 55 times more likely to be killed by a cop than a terrorist. Daniel Benjamin, Coordinator for Counterterrorism at the United States Department of State from 2009 to 2012 recently said about terrorism risk:

“The total number of deaths from terrorism in recent years has been extremely small in the West. And the threat itself has been considerably reduced. Given all the headlines people don’t have that perception; but if you look at the statistics that is the case.”

KilledByPolice.net

KilledByPolice.net

So while police officers kill more people in general than terrorist attacks, if you’re an African American these numbers get even worse. To provide another sobering statistic, if you’re a black male, you’re 21 times more likely to be killed by a police officer than a white male. And more often than not, that officer will be white.

 

Featured image courtesy of YouTube (Do The Right Thing Screenshot).