Report: Police Killings of Unarmed Black Men Dropped in 2016

The small number of such cases has some blaming the media for misleading the public on the issue.

The number of times police officers fatally shot unarmed black men in 2016 decreased dramatically from the year before according to a Washington Post database.

The database tallied 16 instances where an unarmed black man was fatally shot by a police officer in 2016, compared to 36 such instances in 2015.

Some groups have called such shootings a national problem while others have insisted they are overblown in the media.

“What’s gotten lost in the rhetoric is the millions, literally millions, of contacts every day [between police and African-Americans] that don’t result in any force being used for anything, let alone deadly force,” Santa Barbara County Undersheriff Bernard Melekian told Newsweek.

RELATED: Campus Police Officer Involved in Fatal Baltimore Shooting

Still, some people have used the shootings to advocate for more widespread use of body-worn cameras and an independent board to review officer-involved shootings.

Former presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders both called for more to be done to stop the killing of African-Americans by police during their campaigns last year. Their tweets on the subject are featured below.
Bernie and Hillary

The report also saw a slight decrease in instances of fatal police force overall in 2016. The names of involved officers were identified by The Post in one fourth of the shootings.

The database tracks fatal police shootings through news reports, public record requests and social media, among other sources. The Post began the database because it described the federal government’s data as unreliable and incomplete.

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