At least 14 police officers have been charged in recent months with committing murder, homicide, or manslaughter while on duty, says The Atlantic. Yesterday, two former East Point, Ga., police officers were indicted on charges that they murdered a 24-year-old father by repeatedly using their Tasers on him while he was handcuffed and sitting in a creek,” the Atlanta Journal Constitution reported. Are U.S. police being charged at a higher rate than before? Criminal justice Prof. Philip Stinson of Bowling Green State University says that between May 2005 and April 2015, 54 officers were charged for on-duty killings where they shot someone, working out to 5.4 officers charged per year.
That figure excludes non-shooting incidents, like when cops kill someone with a Taser or car. If prosecutors and grand juries are to be trusted, cops murder or unlawfully slaughter an extraordinary number of people. While it may be that the five-month period we're in now will look like just an unusual cluster, if the rate at which cops are indicted for killings continues at this pace, then we're witnessing a sharp disjuncture with the recent past.