10 Black Lives Matter charts you definitely need to see

By Miles Rowbottom

The death of George Floyd was harrowing, and it has sparked a period of deep reflection for many. Widespread protests against police brutality have ensued. We must use data-based evidence to ground ourselves to the true meaning of the protests and the Black Lives Matter movement. 

Much of the discussion surrounding the Black Lives Matter movement has become highly politicized, and space for the expression of thought and opinion is overloaded. Now is the time for those who have experienced injustice first-hand to tell their stories, and it is our duty to listen, empathize, and understand.

At Gyana, we are passionate in our support for the movement. We were appalled by the story of George Floyd’s unjust death, like so many before him, and we proudly stand in support of the Black community.

We believe it is important to use this space to show data-backed evidence, so we intend to break down the data on US police brutality to highlight how the Black community has suffered disproportionately.

Here are 10 charts that highlight just how extensive the injustice is, and why we believe it is our duty to take a stand against the brutality, and to express solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement.

1. Since 2014, every month has seen more than 60 deaths at the hands of US police officers

Despite making up just 29% of the US population, Black and Hispanic people accounted for 43% of these deaths between 2013 and 2019.

Monthly US police killings - Black Lives Matter

2. In the second half of 2019, there were only 11 days where no one died at the hands of the police

On December 10th alone, 9 people were killed by law enforcement officers.

2019 daily US police killings - Black Lives Matter

3. The rate that US police in Utah kills people from the Black community is almost as high as the US murder rate

The rate that US police in states including Utah and Oklahoma kill people from the Black community (per 1 million Black residents) exceeds the intentional murder rate (per 1 million residents) in nations such as the UK and France.

Statewide murder rates and police homicide rates - Black Lives Matter

4. Of all deaths at the hands of police officers, only 0.3% have been convicted

98.6% were never even charged with a crime.

Convictions of US police - Black Lives Matter

5. When restricted to on-duty police officers, only 0.8% were ever charged

Only 0.2% of on-duty officers were convicted for their killings.

Convictions of on-duty US police - Black Lives Matter

6. Since 2015, only 9.1% of deaths have available body camera footage

Until 2015, the presence of body camera footage was never even recorded.

Body camera footage of police brutality - Black Lives Matter

7. 92% of deaths are as a result of purely a gunshot wound

The harrowing manner of George Floyd’s death was unusual, adding extra resonance to an already grim reality for many.

Cause of death in US police brutality - Black Lives Matter

8. Black people are killed by police in Utah at a rate more than 9x higher than the general population

There is a huge variation in how disproportionately affected the Black community is. If some states can get it right, why can’t all?

Rate Black people killed by Police by State - Black Lives Matter

9. Adjusted for population, black people are killed by the Oklahoma City police at a rate more than 6x higher than the New Orleans police

Worse, Black people are killed by the Reno police department at a rate more than twice as high as the Oklahoma City police.

Police department Black people homicide rates - Black Lives Matter

10. In cities where the murder rate is below 10, there is no correlation between the murder rate and the police homicide rate

In St. Louis, the police homicide rate is more than 5x higher than the murder rate.

Police department brutality - Black Lives Matter

All lives cannot matter until Black Lives Matter

We implore you to become involved in the Black Lives Matter movement. Whatever or however you can contribute will go some way to the deconstruction of this systemic oppression.

Support black-owned small businesses or visit the Black Lives Matter site to learn more about the movement and ways you can help.


Data sources: UN-CTS, mappingpoliceviolence.org.

Miles Rowbottom

Miles is Gyana's Resident Data Scientist. He is currently studying for his MSci in Computational Biology at UCL.