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In Georgia, nearly half of the 184 police shootings that took place in the state since 2010 involved an unarmed person or someone who was shot in the back according to a report. The report also showed that Black Georgians are most likely to be shot while unarmed or in the back.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution published an investigative piece regarding the shootings coupled with an interactive visual database. The AJC’s findings were alarming and highlighted a possible link between police and the improper use of force.

From the AJC:

Nearly half the 184 Georgians shot and killed by police since 2010 were unarmed or shot in the back, an Atlanta Journal-Constitution/Channel 2 Action News investigation has found.

Those findings emerged from the most extensive review of police shootings ever undertaken in Georgia, and cast doubt on claims by police that deadly force was always justified. The AJC and Channel 2 reported in October that every police shooting case since 2010 had been deemed lawful in the state’s criminal justice system.

“So many of these cases involve somebody being shot in the back. It’s very, very troubling,” said Philip Stinson, a nationally recognized expert on police shootings and misconduct from Bowling Green State University, who reviewed the AJC/Channel 2 findings. “I can think of some very, very limited circumstances where it would be legally appropriate, but it’s rare circumstances … You can’t just shoot somebody that’s running away from you.”

The AJC/Channel 2 investigation also found black Georgians killed by police were more likely to be shot in the back or unarmed than whites. About three out of five blacks were unarmed or shot in the back, compared to about two out of five whites. Seventy-eight percent of the officers who discharged their weapons were white.

Overall, police fatally shot black citizens at a rate twice that of whites based on population figures, the investigation found.

Read the rest of the AJC’s report by following this link.

Photo: Georgia Department of Public Safety – State Patrol/Joseph Muscarella

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