In Britain and Japan, there were no police shootings last year. In the US, in 2013, there were 479. See here.
In "A Better Standard for the Use of Deadly Force," New York Times, January 1, 2016, Olivia Boykin, Christopher Desir and Jed Rubenfeld, two students and a professor from Yale Law School, underline:
American police officers killed 74 unarmed black people in 2015. From January through July, according to The Washington Post, unarmed black men were seven times more likely than unarmed white men to die by police gunfire.
An analysis of F.B.I. data from 2010 to 2012 concluded that the police killed black men ages 15 to 19 at a rate 21 times greater than the statistic for white men the same age. Department of Justice numbers indicate that a black person is about four times as likely to die in custody or while being arrested than a white person is." See here.
In response to my post on the police murder, defended by DA McGinty and his corrupt instructions to a grand jury, of Tamir Rice, a 12 year old, playing by himself with a toy gun in a park in Cleveland - see here - Andy Reid, who has long defended native americans and handled cases involving police shootings of young blacks, wrote a revealing letter on the ugly license to murder which the police, as a profession, have cultivated.
At police academies, for "dangerous situations" (anything in a ghetto...), American police are trained to shoot first and to kill, not to use lesser means or even scope out the situation. DAs rely on police testimony and thus, mostly protect them.
The figures at the end on how police are much less likely to die in their line of work than many other blue collar professions - loggers are 10 times more likely, trash collectors 3 times... - are also remarkable.
Sadly, none of this is very surprising. The police emerged in the US in slave patrols in the 18th century and to bust strikes of immigrant workers in Chicago in the 19th (see Sam Mitrani, The Rise of the Chicago Police: Class and Class Conflict, 1860-94), They are still an army of Occupation, particularly in nonwhte communities, on behalf mainly of the rich.
Becoming a cop often involves shedding one's other working class friends and isolating oneself,
Bill Arthrell, who has long taught in Cleveland, sent a letter about how he defuses conflict in the class:
Living in Cleveland and having taught in the inner-city of Cleveland for 31 years I am appalled, but not one bit surprised at the determination of the Grand Jury....er Timothy McGinty. He told the jury HE DID NOT WANT AN INDICTMENT and then orchestrated the jury by bringing in "experts" to underscore what he already had decided!
This is justice? In my classroom in Cleveland Schools my students and I often talked about the cops. I listened to their raw fear, intimidation and the harassment they experienced on a daily basis. We had two cops in each building in which I taught and I guarantee you that I broke up more fights than the police. The police were usually missing. If they did arrive the often maced students or using extreme force. I took blows from pugnacious students because I loved them and even when I was hit by a child I just hugged him or her. This miraculously ended most fights. I never stuck back; they were children.
In fact they were my children.
-Bill Arthrell, Cleveland, Ohio."
According to CNN, early Saturday morning, Quintonio LeGrier began behaving erratically and was reportedly threatening his father with a bat. The elder LeGrier reportedly called police and then called his downstairs neighbor Bettie Jones to open the door for the officers once they arrived. Police claim that when they arrived, Quintonio LeGrier began charging at them, wielding an aluminum bat. Police opened fire, fatally shooting both Quintonio LeGrier and Jones. Shortly after the shooting, police officials would acknowledge that shooting Jones, a mother of five, was an accident.
On Tuesday, Antonio LeGrier broke down during a segment on CNN as he attempted to recount what happened the night his son was shot.
"I heard a noise, which was a voice saying, 'Woo, woo, woo.' I can't accurately remember, but it was along those lines," he said. "I proceeded down the staircase, and as I got a quarter of the way down the stairs, I heard gunshots. I stopped at that point and time because I didn't know where those shots were coming from."
"I looked back and saw Ms. Jones lying there," he continued. "At that point I yelled, scream as loud as I could, 'Someone get an ambulance to help my son,' " he said. "That was all I could think to say."
The Chicago Mayor's Office also announced Monday that Rahm Emanuel would be cutting his Cuba vacation short to return to the city, where several protesters, including the Rev. Al Sharpton, have called for his resignation. Emanuel is expected to arrive Tuesday afternoon.
CNN notes that Emanuel has been under fire for a series of fatal police shootings.
On Sunday night, a day after Quintonio LeGrier's and Jones' fatal shootings, Emanuel called for new police policies and training in how to handle calls and interactions with people who might be suffering from mental-health problems. Quintonio LeGrier's mother, Janet Cooksey, told ABC 7 Chicago that her son suffered from mental illness but added that he was not violent.
And Ed Griffith sent the following note, along with a list of some 500 articles on police brutality:
Widespread Police Misconduct and an Expanding Prison Population
13-Where is Obama as Police Brutalize Citizens?
14-Obama Administration Stonewalling UN Questions about Abuse of Occupy Protesters
15-Revealed: How the FBI Coordinated the Crackdown on Occupy
16-How the US Turned Three Pacifists into Violent Terrorists
17-California man faces 13 years in jail for scribbling anti-bank messages in chalk
18-Pennsylvania Activist Arrested For Writing Pro-Health Care Message In Chalk