I’m still a bit astonished at the scope and scale of the movement that rose out of Ferguson after the death of Mike Brown. That story alone just keeps unfolding, seemingly without end, and has triggered a movement to end police racism and brutality. Their latest project is worth highlighting, it’s a map of police violence in the United States. The findings are deeply unsettling (emphasis in original):
- Black people were nearly 3x more likely than whites to be killed by police in 2014.
- At least 56 unarmed black people were killed by police, more than all other races combined.
- Where you live matters. A black person in St. Louis is 4x more likely to be killed by police than a black person in New York City. A black person in Florida is more than 2.5x more likely to be killed by police than a black person in Georgia.
- It’s not about crime rates. Despite the fact that Newark and St. Louis have similar crime rates and demographics, police killed 3 black people in St. Louis and zero in Newark in 2014.
- It doesn’t have to be this way. One black person was killed nationwide in Canada in 2014. There are more black people in Canada than Missouri.
It’s tough not to look at these numbers and see some level of state-sanctioned racism, that carries brutal consequences. Concern about police brutality even crosses political affiliation. Some Americans are finally waking up to this, and I hope the trend continues.