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US police have killed at least seven unarmed people this year

Since the start of the year, the US police have already killed half a dozen unarmed people.

Last month, Tyre Nichols died from his injuries after five Memphis Police officers beat him during a traffic stop.

Including Nichols, at least seven unarmed people have been killed by the police since the start of the year – at least three victims were black.

According to the Mapping Police Violence database, the police killed at least 1,192 people in 2022, more than any other year in the past decade. A hundred of those people were unarmed.

Black people were 26% of those killed by police in 2022 despite being only 13% of the population and were three times more likely than white people to be killed, although they were 1.3 times more likely to be unarmed.

‘Police brutality and the fear of death at the hands of police continues to be a major issue of concern for the overwhelming majority Black families across the United States,’ says Terrell Finner, a strategist and fundraising director and former city council candidate.

After the murder of George Floyd in 2020, The George Floyd Justice in Policing Act was drafted by Democrats in the United States Congress. The legislation aims to combat police misconduct, excessive force, and racial bias in policing, but it failed to pass in 2021.

In a statement after Nichols’ death, President Biden said he signed an executive order that mandated stricter use of force standards and accountability provisions for federal law enforcement and measures to strengthen accountability at the state and local levels.

‘The increasing number of Black deaths at the hands of police is a direct result of federal lawmakers failing to pass legislation to addresses the desperately needed overhaul of police departments across the country,’ says Terrell.

‘Reform would help bring an end to the “blue wall of silence”, end no-knock warrants, ban chokeholds, reduce racial bias, and stop qualified immunity. Unfortunately, only Congress can do that.’

‘It is unlikely that we’ll see any promising legislation passed in this divided government. Still, we cannot let the conversation of police brutality fade out of the mainstream.’

Along with keeping the conversation going, Terrell says there are other ways to increase community safety beyond bankrolling and militarizing police departments.

‘We need to challenge ourselves to reimagine public safety,’ says Terrell.

‘Reducing the number of Black deaths at the hands of police can be done by increasing access to education and mental health resources for community members and police, employing relational and community-based policing, implementing regular racial bias and citizen-interaction based training for officers, and national decertification of “bad cops”.’