Ranking the States Based on Killings by Law Enforcement

Ranking the States Based on Killings by Law Enforcement

Over 1,000 people are killed by law enforcement each year in the United States. While the majority of those killings are deemed to be justified by oversight officials, many are not. Footage of the murder of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer in 2020 sparked nationwide protests, calls for fundamental police reform, and increased scrutiny over the use of deadly force and other abuses of power.

From 2013 to through May 2023, a reported 11,706 people were killed by police officers – both on and off duty – in the United States, according to Mapping Police Violence, a research collaborative that collects data on police killings across the nation. Adjusting for population, this comes out to around 3.5 police killings for every 100,000 people. However, the number of police killings in the last 10 years varies considerably from state to state.

Using data from Mapping Police Violence, 24/7 Wall St. identified the states with the most police killings. States are ranked by the number of people killed by police officers from 2013 through May 2023 for every 100,000 people.

The rate of police killings in recent years ranges from about 1 for every 100,000 people to 11 per 100,000. As for the demographics of those who were killed, the vast majority – 94% – were men. Racially, the largest share of those killed by police were white. However, deaths of Black Americans at the hands of police are disproportionately high. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 76% of the U.S. population identify as white, and 14% identify as Black. Meanwhile, whites accounted for 43% of police killings and Black Americans for 25%.

While the police killings that make national news tend to be those that involve excessive use of force, in most cases in which a suspect is killed, law enforcement’s use of deadly force appears to be justified in the judgment of the U.S. Criminal Legal System. Only 322 of the more than 11,700 police killings since 2013 have resulted in official disciplinary action. The consequences for officers involved in potentially unjustified killings range in scope, from civil lawsuits or being put on leave to criminal prosecution. (Here is a look at the police departments that kill the most people.)

While many police killings – particularly those in which a suspect was shot to death – were intentional, not all were. There have been multiple cases across the country in recent years in which a suspect was unintentionally killed by means typically considered non-lethal or less-lethal, such as a bean bag gun or taser. (These are the standard issue police sidearms in America’s 10 biggest cities.)

You can read the full article at 24/7 Wall St.