Last summer, the spotlight was focused on police violence. According the US Department of Justice, 1,021 people were killed by police in 2020. This number has been relatively steady over the years with approximately 1000 Americans per year killed by police officers. Of those killed, 48% were white, 24% were black, 12% were Latino, and 11% were classified as other. Keep in mind that according to census data, Whites make up 59% of the population, Blacks 14%, Latino’s 12%, and 15% other. Thus, there are more White Americans killed by police than any other race, but Blacks and Latino’s are killed at a disproportionately high number compared to their percentage of the population.
Also in 2020, there were more police officers shot in the line of duty than people killed by police. There were 1,467 police shot in the line of duty in 2020 according to the US Department of Justice. Also the number of “ambush style” attacks has more than doubled this year. Some of these instances have occurred right here in Central Florida.
What may be more startling is the number of Americans killed by gun violence in America. In 2020, there were approximately 20,000 people killed by gun violence. Yes, 20,000 and the number is trending up in 2021. This past 4th of Julyweekend marked one of the most violent in the US. In the city of Chicago alone there were 100 people shot and 18 people were killed. Obviously gun violence is a huge concern for everyone, everywhere.
According to the FBI, Americans are killed disproportionately by race. Of the 2020 homicides, blacks were disproportionately killed. Blacks make up only 14% of the population, but more than a majority of those killed in 2020. According to the CDC, Black men and boys ages 15-34 make up only 2% of the US population but 37% of gun homicides.
Do any of the statistics above surprise/shock you? What can be done about this crisis in America? So far this semester we have looked at policies regarding, policing, education, welfare and other government programs. Think about the statistics above and consider the problems and potential solutions. What can/should be done to prevent the large number of Americans who are being killed every year?
Be sure to reply to at least two other students.