Police Killings By Country 2021

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Thousands of people around the world are killed by law enforcement, both on- and off-duty. Police officers in the United States shoot and kill hundreds of people every year, far more than comparable developed countries such as Germany, the United Kingdom, and Japan.

In the United States, police shootings have sparked protests across the country, such as the shooting of Trayvon Martin, an unarmed, 17-year-old African-American student who was shot and killed in 2012. His killer, George Zimmerman, was a neighborhood watch coordinator of a gated community where Trayvon visited relatives. Zimmerman was acquitted at trial for Trayvon’s death, claiming self-defense. A Change.org petition calling for Zimmerman’s arrest collected over 2.2 million signatures, the most massive petition in the website’s history.

The Washington Post has kept track of police shootings in the United States since 2015. Between 2015 and 2018, U.S. police have killed 3,309 people. In 2019, U.S. police killed 1,099 people, 24% of whom were black.

Location matters when it comes to police killings, both in U.S. states and around the world. Black persons in Oklahoma are six times more likely to be killed by police than those in Georgia. Additionally, eight of the 100 largest police departments in the United States kill black men at higher rates than the U.S. murder rate. These departments are Reno, Oklahoma City, Santa Ana, Anaheim, St. Louis City, Scottsdale, Hialeah, and Madison.

The United States, however, does not have the highest number of police killings or the highest rate of police killings per 10 million people. The United States has the fifth-highest number of police killings and the 30th-highest police killing rate per 10 million people.

The following countries have the highest numbers of police killings in the world, based on the most recent data available:

  1. Brazil – 6,160
  2. Venezuela – 5,287
  3. Philippines – 3,451
  4. India - 1,731
  5. Syria – 1,497
  6. United States – 1,099
  7. Nigeria – 841
  8. El Salvador - 609
  9. Afghanistan – 606
  10. Pakistan – 495

Brazil has the highest number of police killings at 6,160, nearly six times that of the United States. Rio de Janeiro, the country’s most violent state and much of which is under the control of drug-trafficking gangs, has the highest number of police killings. Officials claim that most of the police killing victims died in confrontations with police and were armed.

Police killings are much less common or virtually nonexistent in some European countries. Denmark, Iceland, and Switzerland have all reported zero police killings. Both Denmark and Iceland are among the top ten safest countries in the world. Additionally, police in Iceland do not carry firearms.

Other countries have very low numbers as well. Hong Kong, Luxembourg, Malta, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, and Saint Lucia have one police killing in a year. Of these, Portugal and New Zealand are considered to be among the ten safest countries in the world as well.

Here are the 10 countries with the most police killings:

  1. Venezuela (1632.70)
  2. El Salvador (954.50)
  3. Syria (831.60)
  4. Philippines (542.90)
  5. Nicaragua (522.70)
  6. Palestine (508.00)
  7. Jamaica (472.70)
  8. Trinidad And Tobago (339.70)
  9. Brazil (293.20)
  10. Bahamas (275.70)

Police Killings By Country 2021

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Police Killings By Country 2021

Country Total Killed Rate Per 10M 2021 Population
Brazil6,160293.20213,993,437
Philippines5,810542.90111,046,913
Venezuela5,2871632.7028,704,954
India1,73112.541,393,409,038
Syria1,497831.6018,275,702
United States93328.40332,915,073
Nigeria84144.00211,400,708
El Salvador609954.506,518,499
Afghanistan606170.5039,835,428
Pakistan49525.20225,199,937
Bangladesh46628.30166,303,498
South Africa43676.9060,041,994
Dr Congo38947.8092,377,993
Mexico37130.00130,262,216
Nicaragua325522.706,702,385
Iran30436.6085,028,759
Palestine238508.005,222,748
Kenya22243.5054,985,698
Egypt21221.20104,258,327
Iraq17645.1041,179,350
Colombia16934.1051,265,844
Dominican Republic142131.8010,953,703
Sudan13832.1044,909,353
Jamaica137472.702,973,463
Burkina Faso11660.4021,497,096
Angola10034.7033,933,610
Argentina9521.6045,605,826
Honduras92110.2010,062,991
Indonesia772.90276,361,783
Mali6032.3020,855,735
Trinidad And Tobago46339.701,403,375
Burundi3953.9012,255,433
Rwanda3731.0013,276,513
Canada369.7038,067,903
Central African Republic3064.404,919,981
France263.8065,426,179
Uruguay2263.403,485,151
Lesotho1963.802,159,079
Guyana12152.50790,326
Germany111.3083,900,473
Bahamas11275.70396,913
Sweden66.0010,160,169
Nepal51.7029,674,920
Australia41.7025,788,215
Netherlands42.3017,173,099
United Kingdom30.5068,207,116
Finland35.405,548,360
Eswatini322.101,172,362
Japan20.20126,050,804
Poland20.5037,797,005
Taiwan20.8023,855,010
Saint Vincent And The Grenadines2181.80111,263
Portugal11.0010,167,925
Hong Kong11.307,552,810
Norway11.905,465,630
New Zealand12.104,860,643
Luxembourg116.90634,814
Malta120.00442,784
Saint Lucia156.20184,400
Iceland0.00343,353
Denmark0.005,813,298
Switzerland0.008,715,494

Police Killings By Country 2021