The Organizational Reasons Police Departments Don’t Change
UVA Law Faculty Affiliations
In early July 2016, police officers killed black men in two separate, high-profile incidents. First, Alton Sterling was shot at point blank range in front of a convenience store in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. And in Minnesota, during a minor traffic stop, a police officer shot Philando Castile as he reached for his license.
Within two weeks, two black gunmen had ambushed and shot dead eight police officers in Baton Rouge and Dallas, Texas.
Police-involved shootings in the United States have resulted in 591 deaths so far in 2016. Approximately 25% of these victims were black, and over half were minorities. In the same period, 37 police officers were killed in firearms-related incidents, a 67% rise from last year. Alarmingly, 14 of the shooting deaths this year have been ambush-style, retaliatory attacks on unsuspecting officers, compared with three in the same period last year.