Washington Post reporters are doing what journalists are supposed to do. They're looking at those killed by police (like the Guardian, but a bit more fairly).
815 have been shot dead by police this year as of right now (the Guardian, just FYI, pushes that number to 948. That's a 15 increase based on people that really shouldn't be counted because it includes things like suicide and non-police custody).
Of the 815, 31 are labeled "undetermined" in terms of "threat level" and thus questionable as to their justification. Of those 10 each were white, black, and hispanic. But even among those 30, 11 had a deadly weapon.
76 of the 815 were "unarmed" (28 of 76 black). 29 of those 76 "unarmed" are labeled "attack in progress." 39 "other." 8 "undetermined."
Overall, 203 are determined to be mentally ill. That's one in four. And 40 percent of all whites. "Just" 15 percent of blacks are considered mentally ill. I assume there are labeling errors here. I suspect more mentally ill blacks are not labeled as mentally ill when killed by police. But hell if I know. Regardless, that difference jumps out at me.
Of the total number, 390 were white, 208 were black, 134 hispanic. 32 were women.
I keep harping on the state differences. And for good reason. The top ten states by rate (from the Guardian) of police-involved homicides (from the Post) have about 20 of the US population and 298 (36 percent) of police-involved homicides. The rate of police-involved killings in the ten worst states, (extrapolated from 10 to 12 months) about 5.4 per 100,000, is greater than the overall level of homicide in the United States. Period.
Meanwhile the best ten states (police in these states are least likely to kill people) have nearly the same population as the ten worst states just and 67 (8 percent) police-involved homicides. That's an annual rate of about 1.2 per 100,000.
That's a big difference.
The states where police kill the most are OK, NM, WY, AK, AZ, LA, WV, NV, CA, and CO.
The states with the least lethal cops are VT, ME, RI, CT, NY, ND, PA, MA, IL, and IA.
Is gun control a factor? Maybe. The top 10 average rank is 15 according to the Brady Campaign's rank of gun control. The bottom ten rank 31. But I suspect that is mutual causation or correlation without causation. Gun culture in general more than gun control in particular. There are outliers galore: California ranks 1 on gun control and cops killed 150 people; meanwhile Vermont (1/60th the size of California, mind you) ranks 44 on gun control, but police have killed nobody.
The biggest divider I can see is simply East/West. You can draw a sharp line between the top 10 and bottom 10 with the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers.