Thousands of people have taken to the streets of Minneapolis to protest the death of George Floyd. The unarmed black man was pulled from his car by four police officers on Monday and he died after one of them kneeled on his neck. Onlookers filmed as he continually shouted “I can’t breathe” and the footage quickly went viral, resulting in outrage. The incident has drawn comparisons with the death of another unarmed black man named Eric Garner when he was placed in a chokehold by officers in the New York borough of Staten Island.
A Washington Post analysis has found that black Americans are disproportionately affected by police violence. The data focuses specifically on police shootings and it mainly relies on police reports, news accounts and social media postings. Since the start of 2015, 4,728 people across the country have died in police shootings and approximately half – 2,385 – were white. Out of the remainder, 1,252 were black, 877 were Hispanic and 214 were from other racial groups. The data looks different as a share of the population, however. Black Americans account for less than 13 percent of the population but they are shot and killed by the police at a rate that’s over twice as high as for white Americans.