Despite ongoing national scrutiny of police tactics, the number of fatal shootings by officers in 2016 remained virtually unchanged from last year when nearly 1,000 people were killed by police.
Through Thursday, law enforcement officers fatally shot 957 people in 2016 – close to three each day – down slightly from 2015 when 991 people were shot to death by officers, according to an ongoing project by The Washington Post to track the number of fatal shootings by police.
The Post, for two years in a row, has documented more than twice the number of fatal shootings recorded by the FBI annually on average.
As was the case in 2015, a disproportionate number of those killed this year were black, and about a quarter involved someone who had a mental illness. In a notable shift from 2015, more of the fatal shootings this year were captured on video.
Dozens of departments have vowed reforms since the killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., in August 2014 launched a national debate over police use of force. Many agencies have equipped officers with body-worn cameras, with prominent police chiefs vowing to further curb fatal encounters. But experts say an impact on fatal shootings may take years.
“Making these kinds of changes is very difficult on such a widespread scale,” said Chuck Wexler, executive director of the Police Executive Research Forum, a Washington-based think tank pushing for national police reform. “But quite frankly, we’re still on the front-end of the training that we’re pushing out. It may be…
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