A brief history of police impunity in Black deaths

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Published on 30 Jun 2020, 12:00
Black Americans are more likely to be killed by police. The police are rarely held accountable.

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On May 25, 2020, Minneapolis police officers killed an unarmed black man named George Floyd. After video of Floyd’s death spread on the internet, protesters filled the streets across the US, demanding an end to police brutality and a reckoning with the unequal treatment of Black Americans, but also with another, more direct demand: That his killers be punished.

Until recent years, there was no reliable data on how many people in the US were killed by police every year, or on the legal outcomes of those killings. But data collected by the Mapping Police Violence project provides some answers, including one that has held steady every year for which we have data: Police are almost never charged with killing someone, and are even less often convicted.

The data shows that less than 3% of police killings lead to the officer being charged with a crime, and fewer than 1% of them result in a conviction, and that these rates are the same regardless of the victim’s race. But it also shows that a Black American is three times more likely to be killed by police than a white American.

Here’s Mapping Police Violence’s data, which we rely on throughout the video:
mappingpoliceviolence.org

The Washington Post also keeps a record of deaths caused by police shootings, which had similar findings:
washingtonpost.com/graphics/in...

An interview with a historian on the history on police brutality:
vox.com/2020/6/6/21280643/poli...

Vox also interviewed experts on ways to reform American policing:
vox.com/2020/6/1/21277013/poli...

The headline for this video has been updated, it was changed from: A timeline of 1,944 Black Americans killed by police.

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Vox.com is a news website that helps you cut through the noise and understand what's really driving the events in the headlines. Check out vox.com.

Watch our full video catalog: goo.gl/IZONyE
Follow Vox on Facebook: goo.gl/U2g06o
Or Twitter: goo.gl/XFrZ5H
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