Police murder rate remained unchanged in 2021

According to a New York Times Analysis of the Mapping Police Violence database of deadly police encounters, US police have killed 1,646 people since the murder of George Floyd in May of last year. Additionally, with at least 1,051 deaths recorded in 2021 alone, police continue to kill around three people a day on average.

Portland Police confront May 1 protesters at the ICE facility on Saturday May 1, 2021 in Portland, Oregon. From Portland to Salem, May Day protesters have been seen on the streets to make their voices heard. (AP Photo / Paula Bronstein)

In addition to a second year of the COVID-19 pandemic that has claimed more than 400,000 lives, American workers have been forced to endure another year of terror at the hands of police. Here are some important statistics and cases for the year:

  • On March 29, 2021, Chicago police shot dead 13-year-old Hispanic boy Adam Toledo in a working-class neighborhood. Officers chased Toledo down an alley before being shot in the chest as he attempted to surrender to police. According to Mapping Police Violence, Chicago police killed five other people this year.
  • According to Los Angeles Times, LAPD officers shot dead at least 37 people in 2021, killing 17 of them. LAPD agents killed two men on Christmas Day and another on Christmas Eve. On December 23, a Los Angeles police officer recklessly fired an assault weapon at a crowded clothing store, punching and killing 14-year-old Valentina Orellana-Peralta as she hid with her mother in a cabin. fitting.
  • Pasquotank County Sheriff’s Deputies shot dead Andrew Brown Jr. in Elizabeth City, North Carolina on April 21, 2021. Brown, 42, a father of seven, was killed in his driveway as MPs were trying to serve him with an arrest warrant. for drug-related charges. Officers ambushed Brown and shot him in the back of the neck as he tried to walk away. The North Carolina prosecutor declined to press charges against the officers involved. North Carolina police have killed 21 people this year.
  • the Idaho Press reported an increase in shootings involving police in Idaho in 2021 compared to last year. Idaho police have killed 12 people this year, more than double the five incidents recorded in 2020. Boise police shot Zachary Snow, 26, after his mother called police to tell them Snow was struggling and suicidal. He was shot dead after threatening to jump off a building.
  • The three states with the highest number of police murders in 2021 are California (140), Texas (93) and Georgia (50.) Because violent encounters with police officers are so common, Mapping Police Violence reports that ‘There have only been 12 days in 2021 that US police haven’t killed anyone.

Recent high-profile cases involving former officers convicted of murder – including Derick Chauvin for the murder of George Floyd, Jason Meade for the murder of Casey Goodson Jr. and Kim Potter for the murder of Daunte Wright – could give the impression that the police are being held responsible for their crimes, but the numbers show that the American ruling class continues to preside over a ruthless police regime.

According to Philip M. Stinson, professor of criminal justice at Bowling Green State University, despite the 2021 increase in murder and manslaughter charges against officers, the overwhelming majority of officers involved in fatal encounters never do. subject to charges, let alone convictions. In fact, less than 2% of officers involved in more than 1,000 murders each year are charged with murder.

Stinson told the Time 21 officers have been charged with murder or manslaughter for an on-duty shooting this year, although five of the officers charged face charges for the same incident. Although this is an increase from the 16 police officers indicted last year, it remains a tiny fraction of the police involved in fatal incidents.

After the eruption of mass multiracial protests against police violence sparked by the murder of Floyd in May 2020, the Democratic Party and the pseudo-left have struggled to reorient popular opposition to police violence in the impasse of the racial identity politics while promoting illusions that the police can be reformed. However, the experience of last year shows exactly the opposite. The much-publicized George Floyd Justice and Policing Act, a lukewarm reform package, was scrapped by Democrats after failing to garner enough support to overcome a Republican obstruction in the Senate.

President Joe Biden, meanwhile, has supported channeling pandemic relief funds to the police. Biden announced in June that states and communities could use any portion of the $ 350 million allocated to them under the US bailout to fund their police services.

The deadly force which the police regularly use against the population is the inevitable result of a society torn apart by inequalities and social contradictions. Police victims are of all races, ethnicities and genders, mostly poor and working class. As the crisis of capitalism deepens, the ruling class will increasingly rely on its “special corps of armed men” to suppress any form of social discontent or any labor movement that threatens its privileges.


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