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US police killings remain high after George Floyd's murder

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
File photo of a mural in honor of African-American George Floyd.

The number of Americans killed in encounters with US police has not dropped despite massive protests across the country following the killing of African-American men, George Floyd and Daunte Wright, by white police officers last year, a report reveals.

Although former police officers Derek Chauvin and Kimberly Potter were convicted for their roles in the murder of Floyd and Wright respectively, "accountability for officers who kill remains elusive," the New York Times reported Friday, pointing out that since Floyd’s killing in May 2020, more than 1,600 people have been killed by US police officers, citing Mapping Police Violence (MPV), a nonprofit organization that tracks people killed by the police.

According to figures compiled by the MPV, African-Americans are still two and a half to three times more likely to be killed by a police officer than white people. A separate study conducted by the University of Washington further found that Black people were 3.5 times more likely that white individuals to be killed by police across the US.

The report further underlines that police killings in the United States have also been “severely undercounted,” citing the University of Washington researchers as insisting that police killings -- particularly of African-Americans and other racial minorities -- remain a "public health crisis."

"Systemic and direct racism, manifested in laws and policies as well as personal implicit biases, result in Black, Indigenous, and Hispanic Americans being the targets of police violence," the researchers wrote in an October study as quoted in the report.

According to the report, although murder or manslaughter charges against police officers have increased this year, criminal charges against them still remain “exceptionally rare” while convictions “are even rarer.”

The daily also reported that 21 police officers have been indicted in the current year for murder or manslaughter during on-duty shootings, citing data from Philip M. Stinson, a criminal justice professor and a research team at Bowling Green.

It then explained that the figure is the highest number of police indictments since 2005, when researchers began compiling data, and an increase from 16 charged last year.

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