As 2016 starts to unfold, we take a look back at the events of the past year. The people we have lost, the corruption we have witnessed and the damage we have inflicted on our fellow man and the planet we call home.
Today that focus falls on the issue of police brutality in the United States. In 2015, as many as 1,196 Americans were killed by police—27% of which suffered from a mental illness. Please note that this number only includes the killings that were reported. Unfortunately, as most police misconduct goes unreported, it is likely this number represents a small fraction of the Americans that were actually killed by police during 2015.
Recently, as police killing have become more frequent, medical scientists at Harvard University announced that police killings ought to be counted as a national public health epidemic.
In addition, it should also be noted that this figure does not include the number of cops who were reported for sexual misconduct, rape, and child molestation in 2015. In fact, these incidents occur so frequently, organizations find it near impossible to document and follow each case.
In response to the United States intelligence agencies’ inability to accurately record these incidents, The Guardian took it upon itself to start an interactive map that keeps track of all the reported police killings.
For comparison purposes, the number of police officers who were killed by gunfire in 2015 dropped by nearly 15% compared to previous years. As a result, many are wondering why U.S. police and the mainstream media are continuing to claim that there is a “War on Cops” in America.
At this moment in time, the US has the largest prison population in the world. The majority of these prisoners have been convicted of non-violent crimes such as possession of an illegal substance.
With this knowledge in mind, it becomes apparent that the number of Americans that are either killed, raped, physically and mentally abused, or falsely imprisoned by U.S. police officers is exceedingly higher that it should be.
As a result, we advise everyone to become more diligent and aware of these issues throughout 2016, so collectively we can bring about the change that is evidently overdue.