Who can forget the images of a police officer throwing a young girl to the ground at a neighborhood cookout earlier this year? News about police violence and excessive force scrolled across TV screens almost daily in 2015. It defined the year.
There were loud events like the riots in Baltimore, and quieter incidents that only a few people heard about. In all, The Washington Post catalogued more than 700 deaths from police shootings, which some sources suggest is a low number, and the year isn’t even over.
Surprisingly, the opposite isn’t true. Despite the popular idea of a “war on police,” experts estimate that 2015 will end up with 35 “felonious killings” of officers. According to a different report by the Post, “If that pace holds, this year would end with the second lowest number of murdered cops
2015 could end up being the second safest year for police in history. That means 2015’s mass skepticism and criticism of police coincides with violence against officers reaching historic lows.
Fatal incidents aside, there have been thousands of examples of police misconduct—many documented on social media for all to see. A move among many police departments to require officers to wear body cameras was supposed to help end brutality. So far, though, it just revealed more.
Compiled as part of an ongoing project by the Washington Post
2/3 of unarmed victims were black or Hispanic
1/2 of victims were minorities
80% of victims did carry potentially lethal objects
blacks were killed at 3X the rate of whites or other minorities
1 in 6 of those killed carried a toy or were unarmed