New data gathered by a nonprofit details thousands of Americans killed at the hands of police
By Alex Thomas
(INTELLIHUB) — Data gathered by an impartial nonprofit documents the deaths of over 5,000 Americans killed at the hands of police in the last fifteen years. The deaths dwarf those killed by terrorists despite the American government using the fear of terrorism to strip Americans of the their rights on a daily basis.
The data, gathered by Fatal Encounters, is changing the conversation on police and terrorism in America. As noted by Steve Watson, the number killed by police, “represents more than the total number of US combat deaths in all wars since 2000.”
“How many people are killed in interactions with law enforcement in the United States of America? Are they increasing? What do those people look like?”
To better put the deaths in perspective, Vox’s Anand Katakam created an interactive map showing all the deaths of American citizens at the hands of police since 2000.
Although the data by Fatal Encounters is incomplete due to how police departments across the country report on citizens killed by police, it is essentially the best data made available so far.
The data is far from perfect. Some of it is incomplete, with details about a victim’s race, age, and other factors sometimes missing. D. Brian Burghart, head of Fatal Encounters, estimates that his organization’s collection of reports from the public, media, and FBI only captures about 35 percent of total police killings.
The FBI collects some of this data from local and state agencies, but as Vox’s Dara Lind explained, it’s very limited. Reporting homicides for participating agencies is mandatory, but reporting the circumstances of homicides is not. So we might know that thousands of people die in a certain state, but we won’t always know why those homicides happened and whether they involved police.
Participation in these reporting programs is also voluntary, making the number of reported homicides at best a minimum of what’s going on across the country.
This means that it’s hard to gauge, based on this incomplete data set alone, whether these types of killings are becoming more common. But since all of the data we have is so flawed, the Fatal Encounters database is perhaps the best context we have for the wide range of police use of force — especially as the issue continues to capture national attention in the aftermath of Scott, Garner, Brown, and Rice’s deaths.
This date comes at a time when police across the country are becoming increasingly militarized, complete with funding and gear from the Pentagon and training with the military to possibly take on the American people.
As I reported last week, records from police in Minneapolis, Minnesota highlight a domestic hint in their joint military and police training.
“Records obtained by Public Record Media provide details into a week and a half long joint military and police training exercise conducted in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The records provide hints at a possible domestic focus in the exercise, including training in preserving evidence for criminal prosecutions.
In an article by Public Record Media that accompanied the release of documents, Matt Ehling wrote of the possibility that the August 2014 training involved much closer police and military collaboration than in years past.
The fact that the training specifically included preserving evidence for criminal prosecution led to the question of whether or not there was a domestic focus in the drills.”
According to an e-mail from an anonymous federal official, “There is a significant change in our ‘template’ since the August 2012 exercise,” and as such “we are under new DOD regulatory guidance for this type of training.”
Deaths of Americans at the hands of police will only continue to rise with new DOD guidance and the rise of the warrior cop mentality.
About the Author:
Alex Thomas is a reporter who has worked in the alternative media for over three years. His work has been featured on numerous news outlets including Infowars and RT. Alex is an exclusive weapon of Intellihub.
Read more articles by this author here.
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