Fact 4: Police-involved killings are going up. This one surprised me. Because police-involved shootings are generally correlated with overall homicides. But homicides are more or less steady right now, and down 10,000 since 1998 (14,000 in 1998, 13,000 in 2012).
The trend is about five more killings a year, for the past 15 years. Keep in mind this is based on flawed data. So it could be indicative or something, or maybe it's not.
Meanwhile the trend is for fewer officers to get shot and killed. (If you go back further, like to the 1970s when more than 100 officers were shot and killed each year, the trend is way down.)
So cops may just be quicker on the draw. Or perhaps too quick on the draw. Or some combination of the two.
The next post examines if black police are more or less likely to kill people. What do you think?
As a side note, justifiable killings by civilians have been increasing at an even greater rate over the past 15 years. From 191 in 1998 to 309 in 2012. I would assume (but do not know) that "stand your ground" laws have something to do with this. Also, (surprising to me) the race relationship of those killings have become even more intra-racial (and the greatest increase is seen in justified killings by black).
[Data on police fatal shootings comes from the Officer Down Memorial Page.]