(Cartoon image is by Bill Day at cagle.com.)
The following is from Celisa Calacal at Alternet:
News headlines in 2017 were primarily dominated by coverage of President Donald Trump’s administration and tense party politics. But while most the attention was focused on the president’s antics, officers in Police departments around the country killed over 1,000 civilians.
According to the database Mapping Police Violence, police have killed 1,129 people this year in the U.S., which was similar to the number of killings in previous years. According to the Washington Post’s police shooting tracker, officers fatally shot 976 people this year. In 2016, police shot and killed 963 people, and in 2015, officers fatally shot 995 people. Black people were disproportionately affected, as they made up 25 percent of those killed, despite making up only 13 percent of the population. Sixty-eight of those killed by police this year were unarmed.
This is inexcusable, and it doesn't happen in any other developed nation. I am especially appalled at the 68 unarmed individuals killed by police. I can't believe there wasn't a non-lethal way to deal with those individuals. But even if all of the individuals killed by police were armed, it's still too many. Why are so many people being killed by the police in our society?
The main reason is the easy access to guns in our society, but that's not the only reason. Other factors are racism and bigotry in our criminal justice institutions, poor leadership and oversight of too many departments, and misguided training that teaches police to shoot too quickly, and a justice system that doesn't punish police for shooting unarmed citizens unnecessarily.
This is a serious problem -- and it needs to be fixed, not excused.