Fatal police shootings have been a stubborn flash point for tensions between communities and police, and the racial dynamics that underpin them, thanks partly to a proliferation of bystander video and police body camera footage. Experts say there are some glimmers of hope, reports ABC News. With greater attention being paid to police-community relations, de-escalation training and diversity in the ranks, there were 888 fatal police shootings nationwide in 2021, down 133 from 1,021 in 2020, according to a Washington Post'database. The lowest number of fatal shootings in a full calendar year since 2015 is 957 in 2016 and the average is about 991. There is no comprehensive nationwide database of police use of force, though the FBI has been attempting to build one for years.
Private organizations have led the charge in compiling a more complete set of data. The Post, as well as Mapping Police Violence and the Gun Violence Archive, track and verify The police-involved shooting deaths based on of news accounts, social media postings and police reports. Mapping Police Violence also reports a small decrease in the number of shooting deaths attributed to police. From 2020 to 2021, Florida saw the largest drop in deadly police shootings, from 93 to 44, followed by decreases in California and Washington. Illinois saw 10 more fatal police shootings in 2021, Mississippi experienced a rise of eight and New Mexico, Georgia, Nebraska and Idaho had six more shootings. Some experts say the call for accountability from protesters and leaders may be behind the overall decline, including what could be an increased conscientiousness on the part of officers in what otherwise may have become deadly altercations. Some researchers say a single-year push for reform and a drop in shootings isn't enough to signal progress.