Britain's The Guardian newspaper on Monday indicated that 1,000 people have so far died in the United States this year in police-related incidents. The milestone was reached in the aftermath of deadly terrorist attacks in France, which has prompted some American lawmakers to advocate severely restricting or closing U.S. borders to migrants. Photo by Gabriella Demczuk/UPI | License Photo
WASHINGTON, Nov. 16 (UPI) -- In the aftermath of last week's terrorist attacks in France, the United States of America on Sunday reached a deadly milestone in a different crisis. With a little over a month to go in 2015, a thousand people have already died in police-related incidents so far this year, according to a tally run by Britain's The Guardian newspaper.
U.S. citizens killed by police this year are being tallied and represented in an interactive web exhibit created by the news outlet, called "The Counted."
By Monday, that number had reached 1,000 -- with 46 days left in the year. Shootings in California, North Carolina and Pennsylvania on Sunday pushed the toll over the 1,000-mark, the database indicated.
There is no official tally of people killed or wounded by law enforcement officers in the United States, but by all accounts the 1,000-victim mark is a significant milestone.
California leads the nation in police-related deaths, according to The Guardian, with 183 so far this year -- the only state with a tally over 100. Texas is second with 98 and Florida is third with 61.
Only one state in the nation, Vermont, has yet to record a police-related death in 2015. Rhode Island, North Dakota and Maine have one each.
"The database will combine Guardian reporting with verified crowdsourced information to build a more comprehensive record of such fatalities," the newspaper says on its website. "The US government has no comprehensive record of the number of people killed by law enforcement. This lack of basic data has been glaring amid the protests, riots and worldwide debate."
One particularly staggering statistic, The Guardian said, is this: Only 55 people have been killed in police-related incidents in Britain and Wales over the last 24 years. The United States passed that mark within the first 24 days of 2015.
"This is what a crisis looks like," the report said.
Perhaps the most staggering statistic is 198 -- the number of those killed by police while unarmed. That's 20 percent of all victims killed in police-related incidents so far this year.
The Guardian's exhibit also reveals another significant detail. Of those killed, 250 were black -- accounting for a quarter of the toll despite representing just 12 percent of the U.S. population. No other minority group is even close to that ratio.
Nearly six in every million African Americans were killed in police-related incidents in 2015 -- a rate twice that of Caucasians (2.5 in every million).
The Washington Post is running a similar tally, although it includes only those shot by police -- another issue brought to the forefront in recent years owing to multiple high-profile shootings, like the death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., in August 2014.
The rise in deadly police incidents, though, runs concurrently alongside another hot button issue in the United States -- terrorism -- which was stirred once again by Friday's attacks in Paris.
Some U.S. lawmakers are stumping aggressively to secure American borders in an attempt to keep potentially dangerous immigrants out -- and, thus, keep the domestic terror threat at a minimum.
"It's time for us in America to close our borders and keep our people safe," Louisiana governor and GOP presidential candidate Bobby Jindal said on Saturday.
Sen. Ted Cruz echoed similar sentiments, saying all non-Christian migrants should be barred from entering the United States -- and calling the Obama administration's plan to admit a number of refugees from Syria "lunacy."
"We just saw in Paris what happens when a country allows ISIS terrorists to come ... and the result can be a horrific loss of life," Cruz said Sunday. "We can't roll the dice with the safety of Americans."
However, the running tally for innocent persons killed in terror attacks this year -- nine -- may not even be a blip on the radar compared with the police toll.
All nine victims were killed in the June attack on a historic black church in Charleston, S.C. -- the only mass shooting this year that's considered a terror attack.
Two gunmen who launched an attack in Garland, Texas, in May at a cartoon exhibit featuring the Muslim prophet Mohammed are listed among those shot and killed by police -- but are not among the nine terror-related deaths.