“Police officers in the U.S. fatally shot at least 991 civilians in 2015, and, with just weeks left in the year, 2016 is likely to keep pace. The overwhelming majority of the officers involved in these incidents, which The Washington Post and The Guardian have been tracking, were never tried in court. Legal protections shielded officers from criminal liability in many cases, leading police officials or prosecutors to determine that the shootings were justified.In the few instances in recent years in which police officers did go to trial for fatal shootings in the line of duty, juries have been unlikely to return a guilty verdict…[A] Huffington Post investigation using Stinson’s research suggests the racial composition of juries may have influenced the outcomes in many of these cases. HuffPost obtained juror information for all 13 police shooting trials that have gone to a jury since August 2014 through reviews of news reports and interviews with court officials, attorneys and local reporters. Our investigation found that majority-white juries decided 11 of those 13 cases, which represent those since Michael Brown’s death in Ferguson, Missouri, in August 2014. (In the Brown case, a grand jury ultimately declined to charge the officer, Darren Wilson.) As in Ferguson, at least eight of the cases HuffPost reviewed involved officers fatally shooting people of color. Of the 14 police officers tried in the 13 cases, one was Hispanic and one was Asian. The rest were white.”

Source: Nick Wing. “When Killer Cops Go On Trial, Their Fate Is Mostly In White Hand.” The Huffington Post. December 19, 2016. 

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