U.S. police officers killed at least 986 people last year, more than double the average number reported annually by the FBI over the past decade, reports the Washington Post. The last one in 2015 recorded by the newspaper was one in which Las Vegas officers cornered Keith Childress Jr., who was wanted for several violent felonies, on the afternoon of New Year’s Eve. They opened fire on the black 23-year-old after he refused to drop an object in his hands, which turned out to be a cellphone.. The Post tried to document every shooting at the hands of police, and it found troubling patterns in the circumstances that led to such shootings and the characteristics of the victims.
The project will continue this year. Federal officials have announced plans to improve their data collection, but the new initiative will not be in place until 2017. Already, The Post has tallied 11 fatal police shootings in 2016. Last year, the newspaper found that the vast majority of those shot and killed by police were armed and half of them were white. Still, police killed blacks at three times the rate of whites when adjusted for the populations where these shootings occurred. Although black men represent 6 percent of the U.S. population, they made up nearly 40 percent of those who were killed while unarmed.