With the deaths of teenager Michael “Mike” Brown and Eric Garner, there has been an unprecedented look at police and the killing of Black people. A Twitter feed that recently launched lists the number of Blacks that have been killed by police, highlighting a steadily growing trend.
As noted by GOOD magazine, the deaths of Brown, Garner, Sean Bell and Oscar Grant are all related by the common thread of police being responsible for the killing. In each of this cases, the circumstances surrounding the incidents were questionable although there have been some cases where the use of force might have been justified.
The deaths of these men have sparked demonstrations across the country, and their names have become part of a national conversation on race and police violence. But many other victims remain relatively unknown—FBI figures reveal that in a seven-year period ending in 2012, white police officers killed a black person at least twice a week. Killed By Cops, a Twitter project that went live this week, attempts to memorialize these people online. At least once an hour, the account sends out a tweet bearing the name, age, and city of a black person who has been killed by law enforcement officers. At press time, nearly 100 tweets had been published.
Killed By Cops is a project by Color of Change, a non-profit organization that advocates on behalf of black voters and specifically supports greater police accountability and more comprehensive reporting of police brutality.
The data used for the project comes from Fatal Encounters, a national database of police incidents between individuals that resulted in death. D. Brian Burghart, the publisher of Reno News & Review, maintains the database.
Killed By Cops and Color Of Change says that the data shows that police are lacking accountability for their actions in these instances. Burghart also noted that data provided from nationwide police forces to the Justice Department was incorrect and didn’t accurately depict the fatal incidents that have occurred over the years.
Follow the Killed By Cops Twitter feed here.