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  • Black Lives Matter protesters shout during a protest in Seattle.

    Black Lives Matter protesters shout during a protest in Seattle. | Photo: Reuters

Published 27 December 2015

According to a new report, those shot and killed by police were disproportionately people of color.

Approximately nine hundred and sixty five people were fatally shot by U.S. police in 2015, according to a report published Saturday.

The report found that around 1 in 10 of those killed were unarmed, nearly half of whom were African American.

“Although black men make up only 6 percent of the U.S. population, they account for 40 percent of the unarmed men shot to death by police this year,” the study concluded.

The study was conducted throughout 2015 by the Washington Post and is the most up-to-date nationwide study of its kind.

“The Post sought to compile a record of every fatal police shooting in the nation in 2015, something no government agency had done,” the newspaper stated.

According to the paper, “In the majority of cases in which police shot and killed a person who had attacked someone with a weapon or brandished a gun, the person who was shot was white. But a hugely disproportionate number — 3 in 5 — of those killed after exhibiting less threatening behavior were black or Hispanic.”

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The study is the latest research to highlight racial issues surrounding police use of force in the United States.

According to a Pew Research survey carried out in August 2014, 7 in 10 black people in the U.S. believe that police departments do a poor job of holding officers accountable for misconduct and racial bias.

That perception is supported by evidence. Investigative news website ProPublica looked at fatal police shootings of teenagers aged 15 to 19 between the years 2010 and 2012 and found that black teens were killed at a rate of 31.17 per million, compared to 1.47 per million among white teens.

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