Going by the Guardian’s count, 261 white people were killed by police — the highest total out of any racial group. But data also shows that black people and Native Americans are being killed at higher rates than any other group.
The slight discrepancies in numbers between Killed by Police and The Guardian reflect differences in how each outlet collects data about police killings. Killed by Police is mainly open-sourced and also relies on corporate news reports for its data on people killed by police. For its database, The Guardian relies on traditional reporting on police reports and witness statements, while also culling data from verified crowdsourced information using regional news outlets, research groups, and reporting projects that include Killed by Police.
There has always been a high volume of police killings, although damning videos, photos, and news reports highlight officer violence — especially against people of color — now more than ever. But what’s become an even more alarming trend is the number of officers involved in these killings who receive minor to no punishment.
According to the Wall Street Journal, 2015 saw the highest number of police officers being charged for deadly, on-duty shootings in a decade: 12 as of September 2015. Still, in a year when approximately 1,200 people were killed by police, zero officers were convicted of murder or manslaughter, painting the picture that officers involved in killing another person will not be held accountable for their actions.
In 2016, several officers have gone to trial but none of them received jail time.