The anger behind the protests, explained in 4 charts

By Sean Collins


The protests that have risen up in many cities in the United States over the past week were sparked by the killing of an unarmed black man, George Floyd, by now-fired police officers in Minneapolis. Even though one former officer, Derek Chauvin, has been charged with third-degree murder, protests have continued night after night because they are not just about that single killing but what it represents: rampant police brutality that seems to have no consequences.

In fact, a recent analysis by advocacy group Mapping Police Violence found that 99 percent of police killings from 2014 to 2019 did not result in officers even being charged with, let alone convicted of, a crime.

Mapping Police Violence’s data, which is gathered from public databases and law enforcement records, also shows that the number of police killings varied by year from 2013 to 2019 but did not fall significantly overall — in that span, the number of killings fell to a low of 1,050 in 2014, and had a high of 1,143 in 2018. For comparison, 373 people were killed in mass shootings in 2018 and about 1,010 Americans died of Covid-19 on May 30.


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