Here’s How Many People Police Killed in 2018

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Photo: iStock, Illustration: GMG

In March 2018, cops in Sacramento, California, fired at least 20 bullets at 22-year-old Stephon Clark, killing him. He was unarmed and running away.


In June 2018, a Pittsburgh police officer killed 17-year-old Antwon Rose, shooting him in the back. He was unarmed and fleeing.

In November, a Hoover, Alabama, police officer killed 22-year-old Emantic Bradford Jr. He was shot three times, all from behind.

Police killed 1,165 people in 2018.

There were only 22 days in all of last year where police didn’t kill someone. Despite all the protests, marches, training seminars, thoughts and prayers, in 2018, cops killed 36 more people than they did the year before, according to Mapping Police Violence and the Washington Post.

And despite being 12.6 percent of the U.S. population, black people were 26.7 percent of the people killed by police where the race was known. The number of black people killed by police in the last year (215) was more than all the police who died in the line of duty (148), U.S. servicemen killed in action (2) and Americans killed by Islamic terrorists (0) combined.

Source: Mapping Police Violence/Washington Post
Source: Mapping Police Violence/Washington Post
Graphic: The Root/FMG

Here are other startling statistics of the people whose race was known when they were killed by police:

  • In 2018, black people were three times more likely to be killed by police than were whites.
  • More Americans died last year from police shootings (986) than mass shootings (84).
  • 28 percent of the unarmed victims of police killings were black and only 48 percent were white.
  • 34.9 percent of the people killed by cops—even though they were unarmed and not attacking—were black. Forty-four percent were white.
  • We know the race of 113 people who were shot and killed by police officers as they were fleeing the scene on foot. Thirty-five percent were black.
  • Violent crime rate has no correlation with police shootings. Some cities with high crime rates have low rates of police killings. Some cities with low rates for violent crime still kill a disproportionate number of citizens.
  • Although non-Hispanic whites make up 62 percent of the population, most of the unarmed, armed, and fleeing victims killed by police in 2018 were people of color. There was no category of police shootings where police killed more whites.
Source: Mapping Police Violence, Washington Post, US Census Bureau
Source: Mapping Police Violence, Washington Post, US Census Bureau
Graphic: Michael Harriot (The Root/FMG)

If you took all the killings by gangbangers in Chicago, added all the deaths caused by Black Identity Extremists (0), threw in the deaths caused by NFL players kneeling (0), and multiplied that by all of the cops killed by members of Black Lives Matter (0), sworn law enforcement officers killed more than twice that total.


Ninety-nine percent of the officers involved in the 1,165 police killings in 2018 were not charged with a crime.

Happy New Year.


Old white guy

Michael, I’m confused by a pair of statistics in your article.

You stated police killed 1165 people, but then later said more Americans died last year from police shootings (986).

Is that gap the number of non-Americans killed by police?