Filling in the Details on Police Shootings in Rural America

Filling in the Details on Police Shootings in Rural America

What To Know Today Away from the headlines, police shootings take their toll in rural communities. The Marshall Project and the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting analyzed data from The Washington Post’s police shootings database and, in a story published in partnership with The New York Times , found that about 1,200 people were fatally shot by police in rural areas from 2015 through 2020. That compares to 2,100 police shooting deaths in cities in the same period. And while deadly police shootings declined overall in that period, rural areas saw a slower decline (9 percent down over five years) than urban ones (19 percent). Notable differences: Unlike in urban police shootings, where 37 percent of people fatally shot by police are Black, two-thirds of police shooting fatalities in rural areas were white victims, and Black victims made up only 10 percent of rural deaths. Since white people make up the majority of rural populations in most states, that seems to track — except that in some states, Black people were killed in numbers disproportionate to their percentage of the population. The reporters call out Louisiana as a stark example, given that Black people make up about 20 percent of its rural population, but 37 percent of rural police shooting deaths. The agency with the most fatal shootings in a rural area since 2015? The Kentucky State Police, which shot and killed 33 people. Like in urban police shootings, most people shot in rural Kentucky were men, a majority […]

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