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Study: New York Leads Nation in Fatal Police Shootings

November 13, 2007

New York, NY — Here's a chilling statistic: New Yorkers, especially people of color, are more likely to be shot and killed by police than residents of any other major United States city. That's the finding in an analysis of fatal police shootings in the nation's 10 largest metropolitan areas.

Color Lines Magazine conducted the investigation of data from 2000 to 2005, in collaboration with the Chicago Reporter. Color Lines' Rinku Sen says the research showed a disproportionate number of black New Yorkers being killed by police.

"66 percent of those people killed by the police were black people, but blacks comprise only 26 percent of the overall population, so they're getting shot at more than double the rate of their proportion in the population."

Sen asserts that accountability is lacking in police-related shooting incidents. The research indicated that, in the 88 fatal shootings of civilians by New York City police over the last seven years, only one officer was convicted of any wrongdoing.

"We're not looking at just 'a few bad apples' or a rogue cop here and there whose racism comes out in a fatal shooting. We're talking about systemic problems on the front end, in the hiring, training and deployment of police officers, as well as real problems after a shooting has happened, in the investigation and resolution of that situation."

The report also indicates that the numbers of Latinos killed by police also have increased in large U.S. cities. Latinos accounted for 26 percent of police shooting victims in 2005, up from 19 percent in 2001.

A spokesman for New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg had not seen the report, and want to do so before making a comment. The full report will be available on the Web beginning Friday, November 16, at www.colorlines.com.



Michael Clifford/Eric Mack, Public News Service - NY