You know that there are cases of police brutality, in part because the biggest ones make it into the news cycle. There may be protests over cases where police officers take the lives of civilians.
But is this actually as common as the news makes it sound? It’s important to look into the statistics to get the full picture.
Approximately 1,000 people die every year
The first thing to consider is that about 1,000 people die due to encounters with the police every year in the United States. The exact amount changes, of course, but it is still a shocking statistic to many people.
One argument people will make when presented with this information is that the police have to take lives when criminals do not cooperate with them. This may be true in some cases. However, the U.S. has vastly more deaths at the hands of law enforcement than other countries.
For instance, one study found that 33.5 Americans are killed by the police per 10 million people in the country. When you look at other countries and using the same scale – so that it no longer matters that the U.S. has a larger overall population – you’ll find that the number is just 9.8 in Canada or 8.5 in Australia. In a country like Japan, it’s 0.02 civilians killed by police for every 10 million people.
This makes it all too clear that Americans face far greater threats from the police than other developed nations. If you have been subjected to police brutality or lost a loved one, you need to know what legal options you have.