They Had Been Getting Away With Killing Teenage Boys For Years. Then August 9 Happened.
Sad but true: It took the deaths of several young men for people to finally start "getting" why not everyone feels safe around the police — and with good reason.
On Aug. 9, 2014, police officer Darren Wilson shot 18-year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri.
The response was overwhelming. Advocates and locals mobilized to protest what they called an unnecessary use of police force on an unarmed teenage boy.
But Aug. 9 wasn't an isolated incident. Far from it.
In fact, the statistics are kind of alarming.
1,450 deaths. That's a lot. Here's how many deaths per day that is:
Three human beings every day dying at the hands of cops.
That's just the tip of the iceberg. Molly Crabapple made a four-minute video commentary and used her artistic talents to *literally* illustrate exactly what we need to know about the police:
Powerful video, right?
Just in case it didn't catch your attention, I want to emphasize this statistic:
A black male teenager is 21 times more likely to be shot dead by a police officer than a white male teenager.
We have to ask ourselves: How are we letting this happen in our country?
So much of this might sound way too bad to be true. The bad news, as Upworthy's fact-checkers determined: It's all true.
- Jameila White *did* get maced by police while she was passing out water.
- The FBI has indeed counted 400 justifiable homicides. But the Facebook page Killed by Police, using data from media reports, documented 1,450 deaths caused by cops from May 2013 to August 2014. That's three people a day. As of Nov. 23, 2014, the count was 1,745.
- Here is ProPublica's explanation behind the statistic that a black male teen is 21 times more likely to be shot dead than a white one. This is pretty sad, awful stuff.
- Eric Garner *did* get choked by police for selling loose cigarettes. And sure enough, he said, "It stops today" before he died.