Numbers, and Dead People, do not Lie

American police killed more than twice as many people in March than British police have killed since 1900.
Sure, the U.S. population is 5 or 6 times as great as that of the U.K.
But we’re comparing one month to 115 years.
We’re comparing 111 to 55.
In terms of world view, Britain is far closer to typical than the U.S. is. Some countries go years and years without the police killing anybody at all. It’s as if they aren’t even trying.
One person pointed out in the comments, quite correctly, that only a handful of these ever catch the public eye. We are so busy talking about Michael Brown, Tamir Rice and Eric Garner that we miss most of the others completely.
I suspect there are two reasons for this. One is just that we are overwhelmed. No matter how enlightened or civic minded our brains are, we can only cope with a certain amount of information. Since 111 is a bit over 3 per day it’s true. We are a bit overwhelmed. Even if the press was reporting every one of these cases with the attention they deserve (which they are not, because they suck ass) we wouldn’t be able to absorb it.
The second point is that it only makes the news, if it does at all, if somebody at the scene had the presence of mind to get the whole ugly incident on film.
Thank you, internet.


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