Black Men: 6% of Population; 40% of Unarmed People Shot to Death by Police This Year

Tuesday, August 11, 2015
Unarmed Walter Scott was shot in the back by officer Michael Slager (photo: L. Chris Stewart, AP)

Disproportionate only begins to describe the reality of unarmed black men being shot to death by police in the United States.


An update by The Washington Post on its investigation into police shootings across the country this year shows that 40% of the 60 unarmed people who have died were black males.


Black men only make up 6% of the U.S. population.


The Post determined that black men are seven times more likely than white men to die by police gunfire while unarmed. In terms of actual numbers, the total of unarmed black men killed by police stands at 24 in 2015.


“In many of the 24 shootings of unarmed black men…the threat was not readily apparent, raising questions about the officers’ use of deadly force,” said the Post. “In each case, the situation rapidly spun out of control. In some cases, police have not said why they opened fire. In most of those cases, investigations are ongoing.”


“The disproportionate number of unarmed black men in the body count helps explain why outrage continues to simmer a year after Ferguson — and why shootings that might have been ignored in the past are now coming under fresh public and legal scrutiny,” the Post added.


Altogether, 585 people have been shot by police this year.

-Noel Brinkerhoff


To Learn More:

585 People Shot Dead By Police This Year (Washington Post)

Black and Unarmed (by Sandhya Somashekhar, Wesley Lowery, Keith L. Alexander, Washington Post)

What Dubose’s Rap Sheet Tells Us About Him and the Police (by Amber Hunt, Cincinnati Enquirer)

Police Shoot to Death One Unarmed Person Every 3 Days in U.S. (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)

How Many People are Killed by Police? Crowdsourcing Identifies the Officer-Involved Killings Government Doesn’t Count (by Ken Broder, AllGov)


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