Nature – What the data say about police shootings – “On Tuesday 6 August, the police shot and killed a schoolteacher outside his home in Shaler Township, Pennsylvania. He had reportedly pointed a gun at the officers. In Grants Pass, Oregon, that same day, a 39-year-old man was shot and killed after an altercation with police in the state police office. And in Henderson, Nevada, that evening, an officer shot and injured a 15-year-old suspected of robbing a convenience store. The boy reportedly had an object in his hand that the police later confirmed was not a deadly weapon. In the United States, police officers fatally shoot about three people per day on average, a number that’s close to the yearly totals for other wealthy nations. But data on these deadly encounters have been hard to come by. A pair of high-profile killings of unarmed black men by the police pushed this reality into the headlines in summer 2014. Waves of public protests broke out after the fatal shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, and the death by chokehold of Eric Garner in New York City. Those cases and others raised questions about the extent to which racial biases — either implicit associations or outright racism — contribute to the use of lethal force by the police across the United States. And yet there was no source of comprehensive information to investigate the issue.
Five years later, newspapers, enterprising individuals and the federal government have launched ambitious data-collection projects to fill the gaps and improve transparency and accountability over how police officers exercise their right to use deadly force…”