Police killings of black men over the past year have sparked protests nationwide, but federal data suggest only a slight uptick in police killings (though they’re not kept track of well). The New York Times reports that by the FBI’s count, the number of police officers’ justifiable homicides ranged between 397 and 426 annually since 2009. Though experts say the estimate is too low, “that data suggests that any perception that higher numbers of unarmed African-Americans are being killed by the police in recent months is driven by the fact that citizens are posting unsettling cellphone videos and pictures,” the Times reports. The states with the lowest per-capita killings by police include New Jersey, Michigan, Massachusetts, and New York, while Oklahoma, Montana, and New Mexico are among the highest.
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