US police kill record number of people in 2022 - nonprofit

A record number of 1,176 people were killed by police in the US in 2022, with an average of 3.2 people killed by police each day.

FILE PHOTO: Seattle police form a line after deploying pepper spray and flash-bang devices during a protest against the death in Minneapolis police custody of George Floyd, in Seattle, Washington, U.S. May 31, 2020.  (photo credit: REUTERS/LINDSEY WASSON)
FILE PHOTO: Seattle police form a line after deploying pepper spray and flash-bang devices during a protest against the death in Minneapolis police custody of George Floyd, in Seattle, Washington, U.S. May 31, 2020.
(photo credit: REUTERS/LINDSEY WASSON)

Police in the US killed a record number of people in 2022, with a total of 1,176 people who died as a result of police action, according to the nonprofit Mapping Police Violence.

According to Mapping Police Violence founder Samuel Sinyangwe, this averaged out to 3.2 killings each day.

In fact, throughout all of 2022, there were only 12 days where police reportedly didn't kill anyone.

Those dates were February 3, April 17, May 12, May 17, June 17, July 4, July 18, October 14, October 20, October 29, November 28 and December 11.

Interestingly, one of those dates, July 4, coincided with the Highland Park parade shooting near Chicago, which saw an armed gunman open fire on an Independence Day parade, killing seven people and injuring 48 others, though the shooter himself was arrested without issue.

 BICYCLES AND a stroller, among other abandoned personal belongings, are removed by FBI agents from the scene of the July 4 mass shooting in Highland Park, Illinois. (credit: CHENEY ORR/REUTERS) BICYCLES AND a stroller, among other abandoned personal belongings, are removed by FBI agents from the scene of the July 4 mass shooting in Highland Park, Illinois. (credit: CHENEY ORR/REUTERS)

Who is most likely to be killed by police in the US?

Mapping Police Violence found that overall, Black Americans were three times more likely to be killed by police than white people, even though they were also 1.3 times more likely to be unarmed.

So how did this happen if they were unarmed?

According to the data, just one out of three police killings started with an alleged violent crime. Rather, most begin with other incidents, including, but not limited to:

  • Traffic violation
  • Mental health/welfare check
  • Domestic disturbance
  • Seen with a weapon
  • Other non-violent offense
  • No offense alleged

In addition, one out of every three people killed by police in 2022 were attempting to flee, either by running or driving. And statistically speaking, Americans of color were more likely to be killed while trying to flee.

Another startling statistic is the difference in how some cities are handling police killings.

For example, since 2013, Chicago has seen an 86% decline in police killings. Atlanta, however, has seen a rise of 500%.

But despite this, the nonprofit also notes how in almost all cases, police officers are never held accountable for killing anyone and never charged with a crime.

Despite some examples to the contrary, most notably the conviction of Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin for killing George Floyd, Mapping Police Violence found that 98.1% of police killings from 2013-2022 went without a police officer being charged. Even among those who were charged, only a fraction are actually convicted.

However, the rise in police killings in the US is not unprecedented, as it follows an overall trend for the past few years, the nonprofit's data showed.

Police brutality has been an ongoing political issue in the US for several years, kicking up steam following the death of Floyd in 2020. Efforts to bring change to US law enforcement remain ongoing, though police still have supporters, making such change especially difficult to push through.