Hundreds of Americans were killed last year by police. Almost all of them were unarmed and many were killed after an officer opened fire, often without provocation. Advocates for African-Americans say these cases show that police accountability for police misconduct should be tighter.
Critics counter that victims of police violence also seem like an increasing number in recent years, and that the law enforcement community’s reputation for excessive force is out of proportion to the needs of policing in urban America.
In 2015, a record number of officers were killed in the line of duty. This year is shaping up to be even more deadly, with the killings of 17 people by police so far in the first six months.
According to reports by the Commission on the New York Police Department, which monitors police violence in the city, around 60 percent of the people killed last year in New York were unarmed, with 55 killed being hit with the gunshot to the head.
Protests over police-involved killings erupted in Ferguson, Mo., Baltimore and other cities, and a wave of lawsuits has been filed against police departments and officers.