As of February 15, only a month and a half into 2015, there has been at least 136 individuals killed by police in the United States since the first of the year.
The frighteningly high number averages out to three killed per day, or someone killed every eight hours. While there is no government-run database, Killed By Police has taken it upon themselves to keep track, and are doing a fantastic job thus far.
Just to put things into perspective, let's take a look at the rates at which police in other countries kill their citizens.
Let’s look at our immediate neighbors to the north, Canada. The total number of citizens killed by law enforcement officers in the year 2014, was 14; that is 78 times less people than the US.
If we look at the United Kingdom, 1 person was killed by police in 2014 and 0 in 2013. English police reportedly fired guns a total of three times in all of 2013, with zero reported fatalities.
From 2010 through 2014, there were four fatal police shootings in England, which has a population of about 52 million. By contrast, Albuquerque, N.M., with a population 1 percent the size of England’s, had 26 fatal police shootings in that same time period.
China, whose population is 4 and 1/2 times the size of the United States, recorded 12 killings by law enforcement officers in 2014.
Let that sink in. Law enforcement in the US killed 92 times more people than a country with nearly 1.4 billion people.
It doesn’t stop there.
From 2013-2014, German police killed absolutely no one.
In the entire history of Iceland police, they have only killed 1 person ever. After exhausting all non-lethal methods to detain an armed man barricaded in his house who actually shot 2 police officers, police were forced to take the 59-year-old man’s life. The country of Iceland grieved for weeks after having to resort to violence.
Unofficially, it seems that American police kill more than all of the first world nations' police departments combined!
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That's not the only mind-blowing perspective either. So far this year all cop killers have been other cops. This year the police seem to be far more likely to die as a result of police brutality than at the hand of a violent suspect.
Just last week an officer responding to a domestic disturbance at a North Texas residence, shot and killed off-duty sheriff’s deputy Larry Hostetter, 41, shortly after midnight.
At the end of January, we also reported on a Yonkers police officer who shot a suicidal officer from another precinct, claiming he feared for his safety. We also reported on an undercover Albuquerque police officer who was shot by another officer during a drug bust over $60 worth of meth. The media called it a “tragic accident” while, in reality, it was another example of police shooting someone who poses no threat to them.
There was also John Ballard Gorman was shot and killed by a fellow officer during a training exercise in Tunica, MS last month. The officer who shot Gorman failed to switch out his weapon for a training weapon and fired a real round into his fellow officer, killing him.
According to the Officer Down Memorial Page, the pro-police site that tracks every officer death, not a single police officer has been killed by a suspect so far this year.
Line of Duty Deaths: 14
Automobile accident: 5
Heart attack: 4
Struck by vehicle: 2
Vehicle pursuit: 1
9/11 related illness: 1
Gunfire (Accidental): 1
In fact, being a police officer isn't even close to being in the top 10 most dangerous jobs in this country. According to the 2013 report by the Federal Bureau of Labor Statistics on work-related fatal injuries, “Police and sheriff’s patrol deputies” ranked as the 41st most dangerous occupation.
Also, according to an FBI report, Americans are less violent than ever; its the police who have been increasingly violent.
With job related danger so low, there is no excuse for the police to be so trigger happy, acting like they are Batman and every citizen is a violent villain hell bent on their death.
As Liberation News pointed out, a vast majority of those killed by the police in 2015 have again been young African Americans and Latinos. The two youngest were both 17-years-old, Kristiana Coignard of Texas and Jessica Hernandez of Colorado. The oldest was 87-year-old Lewis Becker from rural upstate New York.
Officers who cannot bring 17-year-old girls or 87-year-old men into custody safely have absolutely no business "protecting and serving" anyone. A person who cannot control a situation with a 90 pound high school girl or an elderly gentleman, and "fear for their life" so severely that they need to pull a trigger, is not a hero, they're a coward.
It is time for the United States to get over its love affair with idolizing the badge.