Photo by ev on Unsplash

The Alarming Rate of Police-Involved Fatalities in the United States

The United States has been grappling with the issue of police-involved fatalities, with statistics revealing a concerning trend. One particularly shocking statistic is that, on average, a police officer takes the life of a citizen every 7 hours in the United States. This statistic sheds light on the magnitude of the problem and underscores the urgent need for comprehensive reforms in law enforcement practices and policies.

The Prevalence of Police-Involved Fatalities

The frequency of police-involved fatalities in the United States is a matter of significant concern. According to a study published in [][2], on average, a police officer takes the life of a citizen every 7 hours. This statistic is deeply troubling and highlights the need for a thorough examination of the factors contributing to such incidents.

Indictment Rates and Lack of Accountability

One of the most alarming aspects of police-involved fatalities is the low indictment rate for police officers. According to [FiveThirtyEight][2], police officers are indicted in fewer than 1% of killings, while the indictment rate for civilians involved in a killing is 90%. This stark contrast in indictment rates raises serious questions about the accountability of law enforcement officers and the mechanisms in place to address instances of excessive use of force.

Disproportionate Impact on Minorities

The impact of police-involved fatalities is disproportionately felt by minority communities. For instance, the study by [][2] reveals that 69% of the victims of police brutality in the United States who are African-American/Black were suspected of a non-violent crime and were unarmed. This statistic underscores the need to address racial disparities in law enforcement practices and to ensure equitable treatment of all individuals, regardless of their background.

Lack of Reporting and Transparency

Another concerning statistic is the limited reporting of police brutality incidents. Only 5% of police departments in the United States contributed statistics to a 2001 report that was created to track police brutality on civilians, as reported by the [US Department of Justice][2]. This lack of comprehensive data impedes efforts to fully understand the scope of the issue and hinders the development of evidence-based solutions.

Financial and Human Costs

The financial and human costs associated with police-involved fatalities are substantial. The estimated cost of police brutality incidents in the United States is $1.8 billion, according to [Cop Crisis][2]. Additionally, the emotional toll on affected communities and families cannot be understated, emphasizing the need for meaningful reforms to prevent such tragedies.

The statistics surrounding police-involved fatalities in the United States paint a troubling picture of the current state of law enforcement practices. The frequency of these incidents, coupled with low indictment rates and disproportionate impacts on minority communities, underscores the urgency of implementing comprehensive reforms. Addressing these issues requires a multifaceted approach, including enhanced accountability measures, improved training on de-escalation techniques, and a commitment to fostering trust and transparency between law enforcement agencies and the communities they serve.

The alarming statistics regarding police-involved fatalities in the United States serve as a call to action for policymakers, law enforcement agencies, and communities to work collaboratively towards meaningful and lasting change. By addressing the root causes of these incidents and implementing evidence-based reforms, it is possible to create a safer and more just society for all individuals.


Vijay Prashad | Author & Historian | US Imperialism | #66 Homeless Romantic Podcast

A Conversation about Communism | Professor Jodi Dean Ph.D. | #177 HR

Christine Sypnowich | The Truth About Marxism | #113 HR

John Waters | Legendary Film Maker

Saving the World with MARXISM | Noah Khrachvik | Midwestern Marx #165 HR

A Conversation with Cory Doctorow | Author, Journalist & Activist #155 HR
The Homeless Romantic Podcast

MUSIC INTRO by @JustinLepard
Justin Lepard Psychedelic Cello