The federal Bureau of Justice Statistics reports that, on average, US police piled up the bodies of 928 US citizens per year between 2003-2009 and 2011.
Killings by police in the US “reached a record high last year [461 was the number thought to be a record before the new study was published], while the number of officers killed in the line of duty fell to its lowest level in decades .” (By comparison, police in the UK, Germany, Japan, and Australia killed under ten people each, and some years kill none.)
As reported by the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, 2013 was the least lethal year for police in six decades. Most police deaths “occurred accidentally rather than feloniously … in routine traffic accidents”. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that policing is not one of the top ten most dangerous jobs in the US.
It is also important to note how police brutality is protested elsewhere: In China, protesters expressing opposition to the recent police killing of an unarmed woman overwhelmed officers and killed four of them, also destroying their cars as they stood by, unable to respond. (In 2014, Chinese police killed 12 people.)
The question clearly becomes how to reduce police brutality before an eruption like the one in China occurs here, which, given the extreme militarization of domestic forces in the US and already-existing willingness of these forces to dispatch US citizens as if they were trash, could well result in a Tienanmen type event, which itself could then escalate.
Two police officers were just “ambushed” and shot in Ferguson, Missouri, one in the face and one in the shoulder.
Author and UK-based colleague on Twitter.