The Painful History of Police Brutality in the United States

Photo Courtesy: Sigel Eschkol/Getty Images

With protests in response to the police killing of George Floyd taking place in all 50 states, many Americans are reckoning with the history of police brutality in the United States for the first time. While headlines about police violence in the U.S. may seem like a new trend, the truth is that police brutality and misconduct has a long history in our country. Between 2013 and 2019 alone, 7,666 people were killed by police. In fact, black Americans are two-and-a-half times more likely to be killed by police than white Americans.

The civil rights movement of the 1960s marked a high point in attacks on protestors by officers of the law, but police brutality itself goes all the way back to the creation of the first police departments in the United States. This is what you need to know about the history of police brutality in the U.S.


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