Over 100 People Killed By Police In March

US police killed over 100 people in March 2015 despite the launch of a nationwide anti-police-brutality movement, the American Civil Liberties Union reports.

The civil rights organization points out that many of the victims were unarmed men of color exhibiting mental disabilities.

Among the 111 victims were Charly Keunang in Los Angeles, California; Tony Robinson in Madison, Wisconsin; Anthony Hill in DeKalb County, Georgia; and Brandon Jones in Cleveland, Ohio.

Despite the recent convening of a federal task force on ’21st Century Policing,’ which delivered more than 59 policy recommendations to the White House on establishing collaborative relations between police and the public; an average of over three people were killed by police in the United States each day last month.

The recommendations included implementing independent investigations of police shootings, greater diversity in police forces reflective of the communities they serve and increased civilian oversight over police and community policing initiatives.

The ACLU says however, that these recommendations, some of which that were provided by the civil rights organization itself, have for the most part not been implemented.

Police departments should adopt use-of-force policies that emphasize de-escalation, while the public needs data collection practices to report cases of unreasonable use of force by police, the civil rights organization said. De-escalation training, and incident review are necessary components to any use-of-force policy.

In order for local law enforcement to get serious about data collection, it may take the dangling of federal dollars, the ACLU predicts.

A recently enacted data collection initiative called the Death in Custody Act,  is taking that approach by penalizing noncompliant agencies who fail to report such stats by withdrawing federal funds.

Earlier mandates around data collection – ones that allow law enforcement to voluntarily report data without penalty – aren’t working, the ACLU says.

The problem isn’t just a few rouge police officers, the ACLU asserts.

By comparison, since 1900, in the entire United Kingdom, only 52 people have been killed by police. That’s right, American police kill twice as many people per month as police have killed in the last 115 years in the UK. Adjust for population if you want, but this statistic in itself is an outrage.

There are no federal statistics on police shootings of the mentally ill, but according to an investigation published in 2012, a review of available reports indicated that at least half of the estimated 375 to 500 people shot and killed each year by police in the United States have mental health problems.

Asa J

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