America became greatly aware of law enforcement and their role in fatalities in 2020 when George Floyd was killed by the hands of police officers. Media frenzies, protests, and even riots resulted from the aftershock of his death. Even though police killings have happened for decades, news reports, tracking groups, and general knowledge have surged since then. However, even with heightened awareness, in 2023, there was a record amount of civilian fatalities by the hands of law enforcement.

 

In a report done by the non-profit group Mapping Police Violence, there have been over 1200 deaths by the hands of law enforcement in 2023, the highest it has been since tracking began in 2013, says the Guardian. With a documented 30 more deaths than the year before, the fatalities in 2023 included death by guns, stun guns, restraint, or beating, says the article. What’s most alarming about the numbers is the consistent pattern of rising deaths each year, estimated at an average of 3 deaths by law enforcement per day.

 

Body Cam Footage of Beating and Shooting

 

In one case at the beginning of 2023, police officers were caught on video from body cam footage beating Tyre Nichols for over three minutes in Memphis, Tennessee. After being stopped for reckless driving, footage shows police officers approaching the stop with guns. After getting to the ground on his side, Nichols was surrounded by officers, where one officer fired at him with a stun gun. Nichols then got up and ran, but was tracked down in a matter of minutes, near his mother’s home, which is where officers began to beat Nichols. His beating also involved use of a baton. As more officers arrived at the scene there was no footage of Nichols receiving medical help. After being taken to critical care, Nichols was pronounced dead three days later. The coroner’s report said his death was due to blunt force injuries to the head.

 

In another case, 45-year-old grandmother, Teresa Gomez, was shot and killed in her car while parked outside a housing complex, reports CNN. Gomez was parked and waiting inside her car when an officer approached, began shouting and told Gomez she was trespassing, body cam footage revealed. She was asked to exit her vehicle but eventually was allowed to sit back down in the driver’s seat. According to the footage, about a minute later, Gomez, with the door open, began to drive away. The officer yelled “stop,” and then opened fire on Gomez, who shot her in the neck. Gomez died at the hospital.

 

 

These examples stay consistent with the trend in police shootings for 2023; one in three killings, according to the Guardian, occur from fleeing, despite efforts to prevent such actions. Other circumstances of death by law enforcement include claims of a person with weapons (11%), domestic disturbances (6%), deaths that began with traffic violations (8%), and violent offenses (38%).

Moving forward, there has been some evidence of cities in which police killings have lessened, says the Guardian. Among the cities with zero killings in 2023 were Boston, Seattle, or Minneapolis. Some cities, such as Denver, have redirected violence by sending “civilian responders to mental health calls instead of police.” Although there has been improvement, and some places are working their way towards a more peaceful environment, there is much work to be done.

 

When Your Loved One Suffered do to Police Brutality in California

If your loved one wrongfully died while in custody, we want to hear your case. Your loved one’s death—whether it was from tasing, shooting or a medical issue– should be investigated immediately to find out whether the use of excessive force was warranted or simply was done out of negligence. It’s our job to help you get justice and since there is a time limit (statute of limitations) in s, it is crucial to contact our civil rights attorneys today. We service Los Angeles and surrounding areas.