Police across the country killed just under 1,000 people in officer-involved shootings last year, according to The Hill using data compiled by The Washington Post.
Data reveals that police fatally shot 987 people last year, about two dozen more than 963 shot and killed the year before. Minority males were shot and killed at a disproportionately higher rate than white males.
Black men accounted for 22 percent of the fatal shootings last year, despite representing just 6 percent of the overall population. Hispanic males accounted for 18 percent of fatal shootings, while white males accounted for 44 percent.
Out of the 987 killed, just 735 were armed with a knife or gun, which was nearly identical to the number of people killed while carrying such a weapon in 2015, the report notes.
Mental distress or mental health conditions also accounted for a major segment of those killed by police last year. One in four fatal police shootings last year involved a person described as in “mental distress” at the time of their death, the report says. In 88 percent of those cases, the person was armed.
“Our officers are in 1.5 million volatile encounters a year, so shooting someone is an incredibly rare event,” Los Angeles Police Department Assistant Chief Michel Moore told The Post. “Yet we pull each instance apart and see what factors might have played a role and train our officers to make that rare event even more rare.”
The Post notes a discrepancy between the newspaper’s numbers and those reported by the FBI each year. The FBI in 2015 promised to do a better job at recording police shootings.
In 2017, The Post’s numbers were more than double those reported by the bureau.
The FBI also records the number of officers killed every year by suspects. In 2017, that number stood at 46, a decline of 20 from the year before.