How Many People Have Died In Police Confrontations This Year?

· Jun. 1, 2015, 2:34 pm
Photo: Jessica Hernandez memorial (AP Photo)AP
A rosary is draped over a portrait of 17-year-old Jessica Hernandez in her Thornton, Colo., home on Wednesday, Jan. 28, 2015. The teenager was killed after she allegedly hit and injured a Denver Police Department officer while driving a stolen vehicle in northeast Denver alleyway.

four bullets struck Jessica Hernandez after two Denver police officers fired on the stolen vehicle she was driving on a January morning in a Park Hill neighborhood. The officers say they opened fire at Hernandez after she drove toward one of them.

At the time, we found that it was difficult to find solid statistics on the number of people who die in confrontations with police across the country. Now, The Washington Post has published independently researched numbers -- and led its report with the Hernandez story, and two others.

The three are among at least 385 people shot and killed by police nationwide during the first five months of this year, more than two a day, according to a Washington Post analysis. That is more than twice the rate of fatal police shootings tallied by the federal government over the past decade, a count that officials concede is incomplete.

Also in the Post's findings:

About half the victims were white, half minority. But the demographics shifted sharply among the unarmed victims, two-thirds of whom were black or Hispanic. Overall, blacks were killed at three times the rate of whites or other minorities when adjusting by the population of the census tracts where the shootings occurred.

"He ran the tags, and in fact it was a stolen vehicle," White says, and a backup officer responded to the scene. "As they approached the driver of the vehicle, the driver struck the original officer, at which time the officers fired several shots, some of them striking the driver. The driver was pronounced dead at the hospital."

You care.

You want to know what is really going on these days, especially in Colorado. We can help you keep up.  The Lookout is a free, daily email newsletter with news and happenings from all over Colorado. Sign up here and we will see you in the morning!