Newark, New Jersey has become an American leader in fostering collaboration between police and community leaders with the goal of helping reduce police violence and build trust between community and cops. This initiative comes partly in response to the fact that a dozen people were killed by Newark police officers from 2013 to 2022, nearly two-thirds of whom were Black. Half of those killed weren’t armed, and one in every four was fleeing.
Newark is not the only police department with disproportionate police killings. To determine the police department that has killed the most people in each state, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed data from Mapping Police Violence, a research collaborative that collects data on police killings across the nation from three large crowdsourced databases. Data was accessed on Feb. 22, 2023, and includes all police department killings from 2013 through the end of 2022.
Three of the cities on the list have killed more than 100 suspects from 2013 to 2022, led by the Los Angeles Police Department with 167 killings, followed by the Phoenix PD with 142 killings, and the NYPD with 102 killings. New York and L.A. are the two largest U.S. cities by population, but Phoenix is the fifth most-populous city. Still, its police officers have killed more suspects than the larger cities of Chicago and Houston, 142 compared to 92 and 97, respectively.
Out of these three cities, the NYPD disproportionately killed more Black suspects than police in Los Angeles and Phoenix. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, about 23% of New York City residents are Black, but two-thirds of the 102 people killed by NYPD officers were identified as Black. An additional 57% did not have a firearm at the time they were killed, and about 35% were fleeing. (New York City has far and away the largest police department in the U.S.)
The proportion of Black suspects killed was even higher in some cities. At least three out of four suspects killed by law enforcement in eight of the 50 deadliest U.S. police departments by state were Black, led by the police departments of St. Louis, Detroit, and Atlanta, where between 91% and 96% of people killed by police officers in this 10-year-period were Black.
At least 75% of suspects killed by officers in three of the deadliest U.S. police departments by state did not have a firearm: police departments in Burlington, Vermont, Honolulu, and the Connecticut State Police. In fact, in 21 of these 50 police departments, at least half of killed suspects did not have a firearm. (These are the most militarized local police departments in America.)
As far as discipline is concerned, police in 27 of the 50 deadliest U.S. police departments by state received no disciplinary actions for their involvement in the killings of 661 people from 2013 to 2022.
In 10 states, at least one in 10 officers involved in these extrajudicial killings received some form of disciplinary action, led by the Newark Police Department, where 36% of officers involved in the killing of those dozen suspects from 2013 to 2022 received some form of punishment.
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