Saturday, May 25

Arizona Ranks 4th in Number of Civilian Deaths Caused by Police Between 2013 and 2015

New research is revealing that Arizona has had the fourth-highest number of fatal shootings by police over the past two years, with 93 individuals killed during 2013, 2014, and the first quarter of 2015.

The report was compiled using information from a database, Fatal Encounters, and assessed the total number of civilian fatalities in all 50 states, during the same time period, for which law enforcement officials were responsible.

According to the database, Arizona is the 15th-largest state in terms of population, but ranked just behind California, Florida, and Texas in terms of fatal civilian shootings.

California ranked first, with 323 fatalities caused by police during the two-year period. Texas came in second place with 188, and Florida came in third place with 165.

Because the data is so recent, the president of Fatal Encounters, Brian Burghart, says that it’s possible for these numbers to rise if additional cases are reported in the press. Burghart ensures that the data presented in Fatal Encounters is fact-checked for legitimacy, and each fatality is backed up with corresponding news reports.

But on the other side of the spectrum, the number of police officers who are killed while on duty are just as problematic. In 2013, only 27 police officers across the country were killed by civilians, which marked the lowest number of fatalities within 50 years. However, TIME recently reported that 51 law enforcement officials were killed during 2014.

Regardless of which side of the law individuals are standing on, the number of fatalities is rising at an alarming rate.

In Arizona, many local officials echoed Burghart’s sentiment that the quiet southwestern state doesn’t appear to be as dangerous as the other top states. But criminal justice experts and sociologists noted that Arizona’s proximity to the Mexican border, coupled with a weak economy and many strong drug rings, are largely to blame.

Experts believe that racial profiling likely plays a role in the number of civilian fatalities at the hands of police officers, according to local reports.

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