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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.