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Since 2000, at least 540 people in New Jersey have died during an encounter with the police. Researchers found that 500 of these incidents occurred with officers on duty and 40 happened with off-duty officers. Nationally, estimates indicate that at least 30,000 people have died during encounters with police since 2000. A study from “The Lancet” medical journal found that these deaths have been underreported by at least 50% over the past 40 years.

A history of police brutality

The study found that over this time black Americans were 3.5 times more likely to die during an encounter with the police than white Americans. Researching the records in the U.S. National Vital Statistics System uncovered over 17,000 deaths from police violence that were either not reported or misclassified. The study also found that the rate of deaths from police violence increased by 38% for all races between 1980 and the 2010s.

Police brutality in America

According to Mapping Police Violence, a non-profit organization publishing some of the most comprehensive and up-to-date data on police brutality in America, over 825 people have been killed from police encounters in 2022. Data shows that black Americans suffered 28% of the deaths despite accounting for just 13% of the U.S. population. As of mid-September, there have only been 10 days in 2022 when an American didn’t die during a police encounter.

One in three people killed by the police were trying to get away or flee the scene. One in three deaths during a police encounter begins with an alleged violent crime. More often, deaths from police encounters are the result of mental health checks, non-violent crimes, traffic stops or no crime reported. Over 98% of the time, the officers involved in the death are not charged with a crime.

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