Killings by US police reached a new high in 2022

Database shows a record 1,176 people were killed by police

Demonstrators gather outside Akron City Hall in Ohio to protest the killing of Jayland Walker, who was shot by police last year. AFP
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More people were killed by US police in 2022 than in any other year, databases tracking deadly interactions with law enforcement revealed this week.

Mapping Police Violence, a database set up in 2015, recorded at least 1,176 killings last year — an increase from 1,145 in 2021 and 1,152 in 2020.

The Washington Post's database tracking fatal police shootings also showed a record number of deaths in 2022 at 1,096, an increase from 1,048 in 2021 and 1,019 in 2020.

Both databases showed that people of colour were disproportionately affected by police violence: 24 per cent of killings were of black Americans, who represent only 13 per cent of the US population.

Native American and Pacific Islander populations were also disproportionately affected by police violence.

In May 2022, on the second anniversary of George Floyd's murder by a Minneapolis police officer, President Joe Biden signed an executive order addressing police accountability. It included new policies on chokeholds and anti-bias training to fight racism in law enforcement.

Mapping Police Violence found that 98.1 per cent of police killings since 2013 have resulted in no police accountability.

The database also examined the situations surrounding each killing, with at least a third occurring when the person did not present a threat to police.

“One in every three people killed by police was running away, driving away or otherwise trying to flee,” the Mapping Police Violence review stated.

“Black and brown people were more likely to be killed while fleeing.”

Updated: January 06, 2023, 7:28 PM