Who counts police killings now?

I’m quite late to this, but The Counted announced last month they would not be tallying police killings in the United States after 2016. They reference a “much-improved new government system” making The Counted surplus to requirement, but relying on the government for these numbers puts the foxes back in charge of the henhouse. The Counted was so necessary because the government completely abandoned keeping track of police killings and had no apparent interest in taking steps to correct this. The government has never shown the slightest interest in bringing transparency to any phase of policing, and certainly not recording killings for which police might be liable in any way. And there’s certainly no reason to believe that will change under Trump’s administration.

This especially matters for those in smaller towns facing police terror. When city police kill, there are usually people around to record it, spread actual witness accounts and organize for some measure of justice. People are always ready to make noise around police killings in San Francisco, Oakland or San Jose. But early Wednesday morning two Salinas police officers killed a teen. Salinas isn’t glamorous enough to register a blip on most activists’ radar, so police there can most likely play this as they wish with no one to keep them remotely honest. And Salinas is just one small town among thousands across the US where police departments will face much less scrutiny once they kill again.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: