American Police, Citizens More Trigger-Happy Than Any Other Developed Nations


America is the richest country but with one of the deadliest police forces of any developed nation in the world. What is worse, police are usually just out of reach of justice’s grasp; the system is seen by many to be corrupt and in dire need of reform.

Darren Wilson fired four times more shots than Great Britain’s entire police fired all last year.

In the case with Michael Brown, the unarmed teenager allegedly threatened former Officer Darren Wilson and was shot at 12 times and hit six or seven times. In 2013, in Great Britain, the entire police force fired three times total. The year before, only one shot was fired by police.

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In 2012, U.S. police “justifiably” killed 409 people, though the statistic is said to be understated given that police reporting of their kills is voluntary. Great Britain has a much smaller population than the U.S. but when adjusting for population size, citizens of Great Britain are still 100 times less likely to be shot by the police than American citizens.

Comparably, in Britain the last police officer who was killed on duty was in 2012, while in the U.S. 30 officers were killed by gunfire in 2013.

I think you got ’em, Jim.

In 2011, Germany reported having only used 85 bullets against their citizens, 49 being warning shots, five people were killed by police fire, and the remainder of the shots fired injured people.

In America earlier this year 33 officers fired at least 600 bullets into a vehicle containing two bank robbers and a hostage being used as a human shield. The hostage, Misty Holt Singh was shot by 10 bullets fired by police officers and died of her wounds. The other two involved in the bank robbery were also killed. That one incidence used over six times as many bullets as Germany fired in ONE YEAR.

This is criminally disgusting in comparison.

Why are the police so paranoid in America?

The short answer: Guns.

A longer answer may point to lack of oversight , lack of sensitivity training, and poor training tactics in general.

According to a 2013 statistic, there is an estimated 310 million guns in the country. The population of the U.S. is 317 million, so statistically nearly everyone is “armed.” Police officers understandably want to make it home to their families at the end of the day, so they have to be paranoid. This paranoia leads to “unjustified” deaths, especially for the black community where people of color are often ignorantly stereotyped as gang members who probably have a gun.

What’s even scarier is many states have lax gun laws, so the likelihood of a criminal acquiring a gun becomes an even greater threat for police in these states.

America has more gun murder than eight developed nations combined, and by a huge margin. The developed nations below also have forms of gun control in their countries, but you know, let freedom ring.

In one year on average in America 108,067 are shot in murders, murder attempts, assaults, suicides, suicide attempts, unintentional shootings and police intervention.

About 32,105 will die from gun fire this year. Of that number 11,488 are intentional homicides. An average of 386 people a year are killed by police intervention. While an average of 827 people are injured by police fire every year.

So while the police are the most trigger-happy out of most developed nations, so are American citizens.

America has violence problem that can no longer be ignored if we plan to keep calling our country the greatest nation on Earth. Safety and blame shouldn’t be put solely on the police’s shoulders. It may be time to rethink gun policy as we scrutinize police brutality and overkill.

H/T: The Economist | Photo: Pixabay

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