The Guardian investigates the practice of U.S. police officers firing into moving vehicles, which the Department of Justice, prominent international policing experts and most major police departments agree should be severely limited or prohibited. The shots are widely viewed as ineffective for stopping oncoming vehicles, and the risks to innocent parties are seen as overwhelming. But the paper has found U.S. police have carried out at least 30 fatal shootings into moving vehicles they claimed were being used as weapons so far in 2015.
More than a quarter of those killed were black men. In all cases, officers said the vehicle posed a threat either to their own lives, to those of police colleagues, or to bystanders. In almost all incidents, however, their decisions to shoot appeared to run counter to federal guidance instructing officers to open fire only if a driver presents a separate deadly threat, such as a gun. None of those killed were accused of pointing firearms at police, and in only three cases did police appear to be aware of a gun being inside the vehicle.