Washington Post: Fatal police shootings in 2021 set record since The Post began tracking, despite public outcry
|Police shot and killed at least 1,055 people nationwide last year, the highest total since The Washington Post began tracking fatal shootings by officers in 2015 — underscoring the difficulty of reducing such incidents despite sustained public attention to the issue.|
Police have fatally shot roughly 1,000 people in each of the past seven years, ranging from 958 in 2016 to last year’s high.
That the number of fatal police shootings last year is within 60 of the average suggests officers’ behavior has not shifted significantly since The Post began collecting data, said Andrew Wheeler, a private-sector criminologist and data scientist.
Franklin Zimring, a law professor and criminologist at the University of California at Berkeley, said that a policy enacted now may take years to make a statistically significant difference.
About 20 percent of last year’s fatal police shootings were captured on body cameras — the highest portion since The Post began tracking. In 2015, the first year data was collected, body-camera video existed for roughly 8 percent of shootings.
The demographics of the people fatally shot have remained largely constant since The Post started tracking the data from news coverage, social media posts, and police records. Although the FBI launched its own data collection program to track police use of force in 2019, a lack of participation by departments has put that program’s existence at risk.
— News from the Police Executive Research Forum, February 11, 2022.