Student Researcher: Alexander Rott
Faculty Evaluator: Michael J. Munford, Director of Campus Security
Southwest Minnesota State University
The number of people being killed in the United States by police is on the rise. In just two years police killings have gone up 13 percent, from 622 deaths in 2003, to 703 deaths in 2005. Over half the people being murdered are Blacks and Latinos which is a staggering amount considering the fact that Black and Latino people make up only 27% of the U.S. Population. These statistics do not include killings by federal law enforcement, immigrants killed by the border police, people killed during police chases, or people killed by police after they are booked for a crime and are in jail. Statistics recently released by the Oakland police reveal that between 2004 and 2008, there were 45 Oakland officers involved in shooting people. 80% of those shot by cops in that period were Black men. In almost half the cases the victim was unarmed. Five of the police officers involved shot more than one person in this period. In none of these cases were the police found to be at fault in any way. No criminal charges, and not even any disciplinary action against the cops.
Mainstream‑- “Ex-BART cop accused of murder in rare group,” by Demian Bulwa, San Francisco Chronicle, Februrary 15, 2009
“System Gives Police “A License to Kill.”” Revolution Online, 23 February 2009 <http://www.rwor.org/a/157/stolen_lives-en.html>