Daily Show Highlights Mystery of How Many Americans are Shot and Killed by Police

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Amanda Warren
Activist Post

If there’s one statistic that’s important for Americans to know, it’s how many of us get shot and killed by our own police force.

Samantha Bee of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart set out to find that data, and interviewed those she thought would have the answers. Getting a coherent answer was akin to pulling teeth.

If you watch the segment below, it appears that the data for the number of Americans killed by police shootings is simply not available… [Warning: Language]

But is that really so?

If it’s really true that you’re 9 times more likely to be killed by a police officer than a terrorist – this would be the most pressing issue of the day.

Jim Fisher, author of SWAT Madness and the Militarization of the American Police says there is no national database available, so he collects his own information based on Internet news findings. These numbers are even higher than the stories listed in Wikipedia. Taking a look at some of descriptions there, the reasoning behind the shootings seem questionable.

Documentary-maker Charles Shaw made a short film called Release Us which highlights that around 500 innocent Americans are murdered by police brutality each year – which would put the American death count at the hands of police higher than 5,000 since 9/11. That number is greater than the number of US soldiers lost in Iraq.

Furthermore, what about wrongful deaths of citizens from police use of so-called non-lethal weaponry?

What The Daily Show did was show that the statistics for police shootings should be readily available, but are not. That it is taken lightly with no accountability. Why would this important information disappear down the memory hole – where did it go?

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