We are halfway through the year 2015, and already the U.S. police have shot and killed almost 400 people this year.

 

According to statistics collected by the Washington Post, 385 people have been killed by police officers during the first five months of this year. When averaged out, these killings occurred more than twice a day over the five month period. These statistics are double that of recent years.

 

A majority of the shootings took place because the victim was armed with a gun, knife, or vehicle, but this wasn’t the case in every shooting. There were 62 instances where a victim was shot and killed when unarmed or holding a toy weapon. Despite these 62 deaths, only three officers have been charged with a crime surrounding the 2015 shootings.

 

The increased support for the #BlackLivesMatter movement has also started influencing more people to question whether race was a factor in some of the shootings.

 

While a little over half of the overall shootings involved victims of minority races, the statistics for occurrence with unarmed victims were the most alarming. Around two-thirds of the unarmed victims were either black or Hispanic, implying that unarmed black and Hispanic suspects were more likely to get shot when compared to white suspects.

 

Footage of Eric Harris being detained by police officers.
Eric Harris was shot by reserve deputy Robert Bates and was allegedly unarmed. (ktla.com)

More people are starting to recognize the frequency of police brutality against unarmed minorities. The shooting of unarmed victim, Eric Harris, by reserve deputy Robert Bates was captured on video and released. This incident gained national attention towards the issue of shootings targeting unarmed minorities and motivated the #BlackLivesMatter movement to grow stronger.

 

These events are gaining more attention and calling for well-researched reports by #BlackLivesMatter activists. Hopefully, this prompts a reduction in the number of police shootings during the second half of the year 2015.

 

Do you think there is an issue in the United States with police brutality? Leave a comment or talk to me on Twitter @Karbowski_Devon.