In 2016, a total of 957 people were shot and killed by police in the United States. This is according to statistics kept by the Washington Post newspaper. These are only the number of people who were killed by police shootings and not by any other method of force. Philadelphia police brutality lawyers look behind these numbers to understand who is actually more likely to be killed by a shot fired from a police officer.
Out of the 957 people, 232 of those were black, which is 24 percent. Yet, most of the 957 people, 48 percent, were in fact white. This seems to suggest that although there is a disproportionate amount of blacks represented in those numbers, they do not make up the largest racial class of those shot and killed by police. This may seem surprising given the recent media attention to the many police killings of young black men in the U.S., but it is also important to look carefully at the complete picture.
Mental Illness and Deadly Force
One problem with the Post’s statistics is that they do not track by the economic class and mental health of the victims, which could in fact be the most important predictor of whether or not a person will be the next victim of a police shooting. Of the 957 people shot and killed, we know that 240, or 25 percent, of those people showed clear discernable signs of mental illness.
Poverty and Police Brutality in Pennsylvania
As more people slip from the middle class during difficult economic times, this can put them at risk of police brutality. Tough economic times not only lead to more crimes but it can also lead to more tension between communities and police in general. As larger sections of the public are living closer to the poverty level and struggling to meet basic needs like clean water, nutritious food, healthcare, and clean housing, they become vulnerable to many pitfalls in our society, including police brutality.
Philadelphia Police Brutality Lawyers at Patrick G. Geckle LLC Can Help If You Are a Victim
If you or someone you know has been affected by police brutality in Pennsylvania, call the Philadelphia police brutality lawyers at Patrick G. Geckle LLC today at 215-735-3326 or contact us online. We serve Central and Eastern Pennsylvania including Bucks County, Berks County, Chester County, Delaware County, Carbon County, Lawrence County, Lehigh County, Lancaster County, Lackawanna County, Monroe County, Luzerne County, and Montgomery County.